Asian markets finished mostly higher in limited trading activity Monday, spurred on by optimism over the release of more COVID-19 vaccines and a steady decline of new coronavirus cases.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index finished 1.2% higher. The S&P/ASX index in Australia closed up 0.7%. Both South Korea’s KOSPI index and the TSEC in Taiwan rose 0.6%.

Mumbai’s Sensex index is down 0.2% in late afternoon trading. The indices in Hong Kong and Shanghai were both closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

In commodities trading, gold is selling at $1,820.00 an ounce, down 0.1%. U.S. crude is selling at $60.13 per barrel, up 1.1%, and Brent crude oil is selling 1.6% higher, at $63.48 per barrel.

All three major U.S. indices, which were inactive Monday for the federal President’s Day (Washington’s Birthday) holiday, are trending higher in futures trading.

Source: Voice of America