Asian Equities Higher Following U.S. Lead

Stocks in China and Japan rose on Monday, with Tokyo helped by a weaker yen, on a broadly positive start to the week for Asia.  The region moved higher, taking the lead from the U.S., where the S&P 500 on Friday closed at a record high at the end of a week of quiet trading. Stocks were supported by data showing that sales of newly built homes in the U.S. rose to 433,000 in April, beating a 420,000 median estimate of economists.

Trading activity has been slow in Asia too, something that is expected to continue on Monday, as both the U.S. and U.K. will be closed for public holidays.  The Ukrainian elections, which passed without serious incident, also supported sentiment. Pro-European Petro Poroshenko declared victory in the poll, while Russian President Vladimir Putin had pledged on Friday to respect the result of Sunday’s elections.

Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.5%, with the market moving higher after the yen weakened against the dollar–a positive for Japanese exporters. The dollar reclaimed the Yen102 mark, recovering from losses earlier last week, though it softened as the session progressed.


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