Japan Surges, OPEC Meeting Delayed

Stocks in Asia Pacific rose on Monday as a scheduled meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies was delayed.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index rocketed 756.11 points, or 4.2%, to 18,576.30, as shares of index heavyweight Softbank Group soared 7.6%.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.16 per U.S. dollar after weakening from levels below 107.4 last week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index jumped 513.01 points, or 2.2%, to 23,749.12.

Australian markets also showed substantial gains, as shares of the country’s major banks such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac saw gains of more than 3.5% each.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6028 after declining from levels above $0.609 last week.

Investors continue to monitor developments on the global coronavirus virus pandemic, as concerns over the virus’ economic impact have sent markets into a whirlwind in recent weeks. Globally, more than 1.2 million have been infected while at least 65,711 lives have been taken by the virus, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.

International benchmark Brent crude futures were down 1.35% to $33.65 U.S. per barrel after briefly turning positive earlier in the session. U.S. crude futures also dropped 1.83% to $27.82 per barrel.

The organization’s March meeting ended with no deal after Russia rejected Riyadh’s proposed output cut that had been made in a bid to prop up falling oil prices as the coronavirus outbreak sapped demand. This kicked off a price war between the two powerhouse producers.

Markets in Mainland China were shuttered for holiday.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index gained 66.44 points, or 3.9%, to 1,791.88.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index popped 155.11 points, or 1.6%, to 9,818.74.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index regained 81.3 points, or 3.4%, to 2,470.59.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 surrendered 171.36 points, or 1.7%, to 9,763.82

In Australia, the ASX 200 rebounded 219.33 points, or 4.3%, to 5,286.81