SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose in Monday morning trade, as investors look ahead to the Hong Kong open after the Hang Seng index plunged into a bear market last week.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.99% in early trade while the Topix index jumped 1.29%.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.78%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.31% higher.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.23% higher.

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Investors will monitor the Hong Kong market open at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN, after heavy losses last week left the Hang Seng index more than 20% lower from its mid-February high as regulatory uncertainty continues to cloud the outlook for Chinese technology firms.

Other factors that could weigh on investor sentiment include concerns over the potential pullback of monetary stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve as well as the continued spread of the delta Covid-19 variant.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.485 after its recent climb from below 93.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.85, stronger than levels above 110 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7142, having declined last week from above $0.729.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.6% to $65.57 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.48% to $62.44 per barrel.



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