© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A videographer films an electronic board showing the Japan’s Nikkei average and related indexes at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks rose on Monday, as signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and firmer Wall Street shares supported sentiment, although another defeat for British Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal added to the pound’s recent woes.

The markets also took heart after data released on Sunday showed factory activity in China unexpectedly grew for the first time in four months in March, suggesting government stimulus measures may be starting to have an impact.

If sustained, the improvement in business conditions could indicate that manufacturing is on a path to recovery, easing fears that China could slip into a sharper economic downturn.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.35 percent.

Australian stocks climbed 0.85 percent, South Korea’s gained 1.1 percent and Japan’s advanced 1.6 percent.

Stocks in Asia took cues from Wall Street, with the posting its best quarterly gain in a decade on Friday amid trade optimism. ()

(Graphic: Asian stock markets – https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4)

The United States and China said they made progress in trade talks that concluded on Friday in Beijing, with Washington saying the negotiations were “candid and constructive” as the world’s two largest economies try to resolve their drawn out trade war.

“The ongoing U.S.-China trade conflict has provided a steady stream of conflicting signals for the markets. But as a whole the negotiations appear to be headed toward a conclusion,” said Soichiro Monji, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

“Hopes that the United States and China would reach an agreement on trade as early as this month are enabling stocks to begin the first quarter on a positive tone.”

In the currency market, the against a basket of six major currencies was little changed at 97.223 after going as high as 97.341 on Friday, its strongest since March 11.

The greenback had benefited from the flagging pound, which was on track to post its fourth day of losses in the wake of the ongoing Brexit saga.

Sterling took its latest knock after British lawmakers rejected Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal for a third time on Friday, sounding its probable death knell and leaving the country’s withdrawal from the European Union in turmoil.

The pound was down 0.1 percent at $1.3021.

The euro was a touch higher at $1.1223 while the dollar edged up 0.15 percent to 111.00 yen.

Safe-haven government bonds retreated as risk aversion in the broader markets eased.

The benchmark edged up to a six-day high of 2.433 percent, pulling away from a 15-month low of 2.340 percent brushed on March 25.

The Treasury 10-year yield had sunk to the 15-month low as risk aversion driven by concerns toward a global economic slowdown gripped the financial markets toward the end of March.

prices added to Friday’s gains, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures gaining 0.47 percent to $67.90 per barrel.

Oil prices posted their biggest quarterly rise in a decade during the January-March, as U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela as well as OPEC-led supply cuts overshadowed concerns over a slowing global economy. [O/R]

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Source link

2019-03-31