Asian Stocks Up, With Investors Pinning Hopes on Upcoming Earnings and Economic Data By

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By Gina Lee – Asian stocks were off to a strong start on Monday morning, with investors balancing increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases with the upcoming week of company earnings and economic data releases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a record 230,370 cases in 24 hours on Sunday, with the state of Florida accounting for over 15,000 cases.

The number of global cases is fast approaching the 13-million mark, and over 560,000 deaths from the virus have been recorded as of July 13, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

“We do think that the global economy is now entering a multi-year recovery but there are going to be wobbles along the way,” Mary Nicola, portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments, told Bloomberg.

“Governments and the central banks have deployed a lot of measures and will keep doing so until we get to the other side of this.”

Japan’s rose 1.84% by 10:45 PM ET (2:45 AM GMT). The Bank of Japan is scheduled to announce its policy decision on Wednesday, followed by a briefing from Governor Haruhiko Kuroda. Meanwhile, Japan’s central bank announced earlier in the day that Seiichi Shimizu will replace Takeshi Kato to head the monetary policy drafting department.

Wednesday brings the Bank of Japan’s policy decision and a Governor Haruhiko Kuroda briefing. Seiichi Shimizu, currently head of its markets department, will become head of the bank’s department overseeing monetary policy drafting. Shimizu’s tenure is scheduled to start on July 20.

South Korea’s gained 1.34% and Down Under, the rose 0.86%.

Hong Kong’s gained 0.57%. Health authorities warned that the COVID-19 situation is “starting to get a bit out of hand” in the city, with 38 new cases reported on Sunday.

China’s was up 0.77% and the jumped 2%. Investors are looking to Chinese trade data for June, due on Tuesday, for clues about China’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The country will release a second batch of data including second quarter GDP, on Thursday.

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