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Asia Pacific shares mingled within the west as coronavirus instances; Oil costs are falling

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SINGAPORE – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed in trading Monday morning as new coronavirus cases surge in both the US and countries across Europe.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.11% while the Topix index fell 0.12%.

Over in South Korea the Kospi was sitting under the flatline. After the death of the chairman of Samsung Electronics, Lee Kun-hee, shares of companies belonging to the conglomerate Samsung Group traded mixed. Samsung C&T was up more than 16% while Samsung Life Insurance was up 8.4%. Samsung Electronics gained 0.66%. Samsung SDI and Samsung Heavy Industries were down 1.06% and 0.38%, respectively.

Australian stocks rose, with the S & P / ASX 200 up 0.33%.

MSCI's broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan rose 0.14%.

The Hong Kong market is closed on Mondays for public holidays.

Meanwhile, oil prices fell on the morning of Asian trading hours. The international benchmark for Brent crude oil futures fell 1.36% to $ 41.20 a barrel. US crude oil futures were also down 1.48% to $ 39.26 a barrel.

Developments outside of China are expected to be watched as the country's leaders meet this week to plan for the next five years.

Investor focus on Monday is also likely to be on the worsening coronavirus situation in the west. The US recently reported a record number of new virus cases.

Cases have also increased in Europe. Reuters reported that France had recorded record coronavirus infections on a daily basis, while Italy had ordered bars to close early and public gyms to close in order to contain a virus resurgence.

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its peers, stood at 92.816 after rising below 92.8 last week.

The Japanese yen was trading at 104.68 per dollar after rising above 105 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7134 after rising below $ 0.704 last week of trading.

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Steven Gregory