SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks in Japan and Hong Kong were sold off on Monday, however in mainland China and in Australia buyers were in charge.
Hopes for a Covid-19 vaccine held out hope an end to the economic and social damage of most of the year is foreseeable.
"With the vaccine on its way and the likelihood that economic damage being done by the virus will lift, we'll still have in place substantial support from central banks and governments. And that is an economic sweet spot that should see a significant economic bounce," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney told Reuters Thomson Monday.
"It's fascinating that investors are willing to focus on that aspect. It does require some pretty heavy squinting, including looking through the rising infection rates that we're seeing right now. But there is a real optimism around it."
At the close in Sydney, the All Ords was ahead 32.10 points or 0.48 percent at 6,772.00.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 on the other hand closed down 106.63 points o 0.42 percent at 25,527.37.
In China the Shanghai Composite gained 36.76 points or 1.09 percent to 26,457.57.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong, traded mostly in the red Monday but rallied towards the close. The key index finished up 34.66 points or 0.13 percent at 26,486.20.
The U.S. dollar opened the week on its knees. In the Asian trading zone the euro edged up to 1.1876. The British pound was decidedly stronger at 1.3319. The Swiss franc rose to 0.9102.
The Canadian dollar advanced to 1.3068. The Australian dollar firmed to 0.7312. The New Zealand dollar retained its recent robustness to trade higher at 0.6942.
Only the Japanese yen was little changed at 103.83.