Asian Shares Mixed In Cautious Trade

Asian stocks are trading mixed on Tuesday despite the three major U.S. indexes setting another round of record highs overnight. The dollar hovered near its lowest in a week, sending gold and oil prices higher.

The spotlight remains on bitcoin, which reached a record above $47,000, building on a nearly 20 percent surge overnight after news emerged that Elon Musk’s electric carmaker Tesla invested $1.5 billion in the digital currency.

China’s Shanghai Composite index was up 0.4 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was marginally higher as investors cheered Beijing’s latest reform measures for the stock market.

Japan’s Nikkei index rose about half a percent and the yen held flat against the dollar as U.S. lawmakers edged closer to a new stimulus for the world’s top economy and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet decided to disburse 1.14 trillion yen ($11 billion) from reserve funds for fiscal 2020. The country hopes to begin vaccinating selected healthcare workers against Covid-19 next week.

Seoul stocks advanced, with the Kospi average climbing 0.8 percent to rise above the 3,100-point threshold amid strong foreign and institutional buying.

Tech heavyweights led the surge while automakers recovered some ground after sharp falls in the previous session.

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was down about half a percent and New Zealand’s NZX-50 index was losing 0.6 percent.

U.S. stocks hit fresh record closing highs overnight as investors held out hopes of a robust stimulus package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.7 percent.

European stocks also advanced on Monday, with sentiment buoyed by slowing coronavirus infections globally and the prospect of additional U.S. stimulus.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.3 percent. The German DAX finished marginally higher, while France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 both rose about half a percent.

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