Australia and New Zealand
Australia’s market was back in business today after yesterday’s holiday for the Queen’s birthday. Australia’s S&P/ASX200 gained big today, as the Xinhua report pointed at an infrastructure boost in China. Australia is China’s biggest trading partner. An increase in infrastructure in China means higher demand for Australian iron ore and metallurgical coal.
The index gained 1.59% today to end at an 11-year high of 6,546.3. Rising iron ore prices lifted shares of miners. BHP Group gained 2.3%, while Rio Tinto advanced 2.6% today. The iShares MSCI Australia ETF (EWA) ended flat yesterday on the NYSE Arca. The ETF has returned 15.95% so far in 2019. After falling yesterday, New Zealand’s NZ50 gained 1.09% today.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.67% today, its fifth straight gain. The index opened higher and remained within a narrow range to end at 3,209.58 near the day’s high. The deal with Mexico and Trump’s hope of meeting Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit kept the index in the green.
The index has returned 4.59% so far this year. Yesterday, the iShares MSCI Singapore ETF (EWS) gained 0.64% to take its year-to-date returns to 5.31%.
South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.59% to end the day at 2,111.81. The index opened marginally lower but maintained its upward trajectory throughout the trading day and closed near the day’s high. The iShares MSCI South Korea Capped ETF (EWY) gained 0.91% yesterday. However, the ETF is down 3.5% so far in 2019.