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Japan’s Nikkei 225 surges to levels not seen since early 1990s as Asia-Pacific markets rise

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were higher in Tuesday morning trade following overnight gains on Wall Street that sent the major averages to record highs.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.42%, trading at levels not seen since the early 1990s, according to Factset. The Topix index advanced 0.93%. South Korea’s Kospi hovered above the flatline.

Mainland Chinese stocks were little changed in early trade, with the Shanghai composite largely flat while the Shenzhen component dipped slightly.

Shares in Australia rose following their return from a Monday holiday, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.51%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.41% higher.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7% to close at 30,403.97. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% to finish its trading day at 3,735.36 while the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.7% higher at 12,899.42.

The gains stateside came after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion coronavirus relief package into law, with the measure including a direct payment of $600 to most Americans. Trump had previously demanded a $2,000 direct payment days before the signing. The House voted Monday to increase the second round of federal direct payments to $2,000, leaving it up to the GOP-controlled Senate.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.189 following an earlier high of 90.227.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.74 per dollar after weakening yesterday from around the 103.4 level against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7589, having slipped from levels above $0.76 yesterday.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.65% to $51.19 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.73% to $47.97 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

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