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Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as coronavirus case in western outbreak; falling oil prices

SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in Monday morning trading as new cases of the coronavirus rose in the United States as well as countries in Europe.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index rose 0.11% while the Topix index fell 0.12%.

In South Korea, the Kospi sat under the flat line. Shares of companies affiliated with the conglomerate Samsung Group traded in a mixed fashion after the death of Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee. Samsung C&T jumped over 16% while Samsung Life Insurance climbed 8.4%. Samsung Electronics edged up 0.66%. Samsung SDI and Samsung Heavy Industries lost 1.06% and 0.38% respectively.

Australian stocks advanced, with the S & P / ASX 200 advancing 0.33%.

The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan traded 0.14% higher.

The Hong Kong Market is closed on Mondays for holidays.

Meanwhile, oil prices fell in the morning hours of trading in Asia. International benchmark Brent futures fell 1.36% to $ 41.20 per barrel. US crude futures also fell 1.48% to $ 39.26 per barrel.

Developments outside of China are expected to be watched, as the country’s top leaders meet this week to plan for the next five years.

Investors are likely to focus on the worsening coronavirus situation in the West on Monday, with the United States recently reporting a record number of new cases of the virus.

In Europe, cases have also increased, with Reuters reporting that France has seen record daily coronavirus infections while Italy has ordered bars to close early and close public gyms in a bid to stem a resurgence of the virus .

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.816 after rebounding from levels below 92.8 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.68 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 105 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7134 after rising from levels below $ 0.704 the previous trading week.

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