SINGAPORE – Asia Pacific stocks rose in Monday morning trading as investors continue to monitor the Covid situation regionally.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.78% in early trading while the Topix index rose 1.71%. South Korea’s Kospi also gained 0.79%.

Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 climbed 0.36%.

MSCI’s broadest index for Asia Pacific stocks outside of Japan traded 0.31% higher.

In the economic news on Friday, China’s central bank announced a 50 basis point reduction in the reserve requirement ratio for all banks with effect from July.

The move should show that the country has “a variety of policy tools to conduct monetary policy,” wrote ANZ Research’s Raymond Yeung and Zhaopeng Xing in a Friday memo.

The RRR cut is “almost synonymous with broad-based easing,” said Yeung and Xing, as it will free about 1 trillion Chinese yuan ($ 154 billion) in funds.

CNBC Pro’s Stock Picks and Investment Trends:

Covid in Asia Pacific

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its competitors, hit 92.154 after falling over 92.4 recently.

The Japanese yen was trading at 110.21 per dollar, weaker than last week against the greenback below 110. The Australian dollar traded at $ 0.7488, still below the level of over $ 0.755 reached last week.