Asia Markets Mixed as Investors Monitor Covid Situation in India

PUNIT PARANJPE | AFP via Getty Images
  • The Covid situation in India remains severe, with more than 350,000 new daily infections registered on Monday.
  • The Biden administration has said it will immediately make raw materials needed for India's coronavirus vaccine production available. The U.S. response comes after Britain, France and Germany also pledged aid to India over the weekend.

SINGAPORE — Shares in major Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Monday as investors continued to watch the Covid situation in India.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.36% to close at 29,126.23 while the Topix index rose 0.17% to finish the trading day at 1,918.15. South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.99% to close at 3,217.53.

Mainland Chinese stocks closed lower, with the Shanghai composite down 0.95% to 3,441.17 and the Shenzhen component slipping 0.888% to 14,224.45. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slid about 0.4%, as of its final hour of trading.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.21% lower at 7,045.60.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.48%.

Covid in India

The Nifty 50 in India jumped about 1.2% while the BSE Sensex advanced 1.26%, as of around 12:46 p.m. local time on Monday.

The Covid situation in India remains severe as the country continues to battle a startling rise in new coronavirus infections. On Monday, more than 350,000 new daily infections were registered.

The Biden administration has said it will immediately make raw materials needed for India's coronavirus vaccine production available. The U.S. response comes after Britain, France and Germany also pledged aid to India over the weekend.

Oil prices drop

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.09% to $65.39 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 1.11% to $61.45 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.819 following a recent drop from above 91.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.75 per dollar, weaker than levels around 107.5 against the greenback seen late last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7778, against an earlier low of $0.7732.

— CNBC's Amanda Macias contributed to this report.

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