The Stock Exchange in Japan started the new trading week slightly lower on Monday. The oil companies in particular were in demand because of the further rise in oil prices. The banking sector also did well with the hope of a strong economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. However, the fear that higher oil prices and the extensive US coronavirus package will boost inflation has led to price pressure in the wider market. The support package was approved by the Senate last weekend.
The Nikkei in Tokyo saw earlier gains evaporate and ended up 0.4 percent in the minus at 28,743. 25 points. Inpex, Japan’s largest oil producer, won 4 percent after the price of a barrel of Brent oil rose above $ 70 for the first time since May 2019. The price increase followed a drone attack on Saudi oil installations by Houthi rebels. The optimism about the economy and the production restrictions of the OPEC oil cartel also drives oil prices. Japanese banks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group grew by 2.5 percent and stock exchange Nomura grew by 3 percent.
The Chinese stock markets went down despite a very strong growth in Chinese exports. The main index in Shanghai fell by 1 percent and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong lost 1.2 percent. Chinese exports increased by more than 60% in the first two months of this year. That was the strongest growth in over 20 years. Imports also increased significantly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which had almost brought the country’s economy to a standstill last year. The All Ordinaries in Sydney kept their heads above water with a plus of 0.4 percent thanks to price gains among Australian miners and banks.