Shares in Australia led markets on Monday morning, up more than 1% in early trade, boosted by commodity and energy-related stocks. Investor sentiment was also up after a positive US jobs report on Friday. Sydney-listed shares in mining giant Fortescue Metals were up more than 13%, BHP Billiton was up more than 5% and Rio Tinto more than 3%. By mid-morning, Sydney’s benchmark ASX/200 was up 0.85% to 5,133.80 points.
In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.64% to 20,306.09. Hong Kong-listed shares of China’s telco giant ZTE Corporation were halted from trade on Monday morning. On Sunday, Reuters news agency said the US Commerce Department was “set to place export restrictions on [the] Chinese telecoms equipment maker… for alleged violations of US export controls on Iran”.
The firm did not respond to written requests from the BBC for more information about the possible restrictions. Meanwhile, the mainland Shanghai Composite was up 0.43% to 2,886.64. On the weekend, China’s chief economic planner said the country would “absolutely not experience a hard landing” despite growth forecast cuts.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was bucking the regional trend, down 0.5% to 16,932.3. Shares in electronics giant Sharp were up about 4% in morning trade, however, amid continuing speculation about a takeover bid from Taiwan’s Foxconn. In South Korea, the Kospi index was up 0.22% to 1,959.9 points. (BBC News, 2016)