Asian stock market indices were trading higher on Monday (13 March) with the Shanghai Composite up 0.56% at 3,230.70 as of 5.35am GMT following a positive Wall Street close on Friday amid an encouraging US jobs report.
The upswing comes despite investors remaining cautious over a potential increase in US interest rate later this week. The US Federal Reserve is expected to meet for two days starting 14 March. Following this, the majority of market participants expect the US central bank to raise rates. Such a move could affect investor sentiment as it will increase the borrowing costs for companies.
However, some analysts were optimistic of future equity market conditions. "The key to market performance this week is the response to the US lift in rates. Such a well-flagged and expected move is unlikely to disrupt the current optimism, even if the Fed takes the opportunity to re-iterate a steeper tightening path," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, was quoted as saying by CNBC.
Meanwhile, Japan's core machinery orders fell 3.2% month-on-month in January. This metric is considered important as it is a leading indicator of capital spending over the next six to nine months. The fall, however did not have too much of an effect on equities in the region.
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 5.56am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||23,866.42||Up||1.26%|
On 10 March, the FTSE 100 index closed 0.38% higher at 7,343.08 while the S&P 500 index closed 0.33% higher at 2,372.60.
Among commodities, oil prices continued to slide. As of 1.50am EST, WTI crude oil was down 0.93% at $48.04 (£39.43) a barrel, while Brent crude was trading 0.74% lower at $50.99 a barrel.