Monday, 20 August, 2018


Asian stocks make modest gains after steady Chinese GDP data

Asian stocks make modest gains after steady Chinese GDP data Asian stocks make modest gains after steady Chinese GDP data
Conrad Doyle | 17 April, 2018, 12:14

Hong Kong fell 1.6 percent, while Shanghai had slipped 1.5 percent at the close, with traders there awaiting the release Tuesday of first-quarter Chinese growth data.

China's economy grew a welcome 6.8% in the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, official data showed on Tuesday, unchanged from the previous quarter.

The dollar pulled back along with safe-haven U.S. Treasuries as investor risk appetite improved in the broader markets.

Japan's Nikkei .n225 climbed 0.2 percent. Australian stocks gained 0.3 percent with mining shares gaining on higher aluminium prices.

Saturday's strikes were the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose ally Russian Federation is facing further USA economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.

In commodity markets, gold gained 0.1 percent to $1,346.61 an ounce, but remained well short of last week's peak at $1,365.23. "Military action, however, has been limited, bringing relief", said Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo. "But the big picture is that economic momentum did hold up fairly well in Q1, with the easing of pollution controls sparking a recovery in industrial activity", Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

Wall Street closed higher on Monday as investors appeared less concerned about possible retaliation for USA -led missile strikes on Syria, and the yield curve reached its flattest level in over a decade.

At the Japan-U.S. summit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump are expected to discuss North Korea as well as trade issues, after some U.S. protectionist measures triggered a backlash from major trading partners.

Looking ahead, the US earnings season kicks into high gear this week with Thomson Reuters data predicting profits at S&P 500 companies increased by 18.6 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, their biggest rise in seven years.

S&P 500 companies are expected to report an 18.6 percent jump in first-quarter profit, on average, the biggest rise in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 107.01 yen from 107.12 yen late Monday.

The euro was flat at $1.2330, while the dollar index was a fraction firmer at 89.803.

The yields on German DE10YT=RR and 10-year USA government US10YT=RR bonds, among the most liquid and safe assets in the world, touched their highest levels in almost two weeks and four weeks, respectively.

Oil prices slipped with Brent crude futures off 31 cents at $72.27 a barrel, while US crude fell 26 cents to $67.13 a barrel.

Singapore fell 0.2 percent, while Wellington and Taipei also declined.

Aluminium on the London Metal Exchange was at $2,386 per ton after surging 5 percent to $2,403 on Monday, its highest since September 2011.

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