Asian stocks hit a record high on Monday as vaccine optimism and strong economic data from China and Japan outshone worries about rising coronavirus cases lifting the tech and auto sector. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1% to hit its highest since its launch in 1987 with markets across the region making milestone peaks. Japan’s Nikkei traded at 29-year high, South Korea’s Kospi at its highest since early 2018 and Australia’s ASX 200 hit an eight-month peak in the morning before a glitch halted trade. S&P 500 futures rose 0.6% following the index’s record close on Friday, Nasdaq 100 futures lept 1% and European futures were up strongly with 50 futures up 0.8% and FTSE futures up half a percent. Currencies and commodity markets were a little more circumspect, but the dollar was down against trade-exposed currencies and oil prices firmed after falling on Friday. The trade deal, signed on Sunday, aims to gradually reduce tariffs across many areas, according to Reuters. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is now the world’s largest trade bloc, a deal that excludes the U.S. It marks the first time that East Asian powers China, Japan and South Korea are in a single trade agreement. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.90%, while the Topix was up 1.73%. Japan’s economy rebounded sharply, growing an annualized 21.4% in the third quarter, data showed on Monday. On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 5%, better than forecasts of 4.4%, according to Reuters, and a sign that the country was recovering from the damage caused by the pandemic. In South Korea, the Kospi rose 1.88%. Mainland Chinese stocks rose by the afternoon. The Shanghai composite rose nearly 1%, while the Shenzhen component was up 0.50%. The country’s factory output rose faster than expected in October jumping 6.9%, data showed on Monday, according to Reuters. Retail sales continued to recover, climbing 4.3% year-on-year, but missing forecasts of a 4.9% growth. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.41%. Casino and finance stocks listed in the city were going strong. Standard Chartered was up 3.84%, while HSBC bounced 3.22%. Global stocks rebounded back to pre-COVID-19 highs over hopes that a vaccine would become available soon. However, the ever-increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases worldwide tempered that enthusiasm.