Asian Stocks Talking Points:
- Stocks were broadly higher across the region
- The Japanese Yen slipped as risk appetite held firm
- Canada’s Dollar was weakened by the prospect of a tight provincial election in Alberta
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Asia Pacific stock markets were mostly higher as Monday’s action wound down, with last week’s Chinese economic data continuing to lend support.
Customs figures on Friday showed a strong rise in exports for March, with a 14.2% annualized rise trouncing the expected 7.3% gain. However, imports remain subdued and question marks still glower over China’s internal demand levels. Hopes for a trade settlement between Washington and Beijing also stoked sentiment. There was no sign of solid progress, but reports have suggested that the US will water down demands that China curb certain industrial subsidies- long a bone of contention.
Market focus will now move to Wednesday when official Gross Domestic Product data out of China will be released.
The Nikkei 225 added 1.5%, with the Shanghai Composite up 1.2%. The Hang Seng gained 0.6% with only Australia’s ASX 200 unable to remain up. It was down by 0.1% as its close loomed.
Turning to foreign exchange, improved risk appetite saw the Japanese Yen unwanted and close to its weakest levels for 2019 against the US Dollar. The Canadian Dollar was also on the defensive as investors eyed what is likely to be a close provincial election in Alberta- Canada’s oil-production heartland.
USD/CAD remains within the gradual uptrend which has marked 2019 but for all the Canadian Dollar’s Monday weakness, the pair is still testing the base of that channel. A fall through it could well see the greenback slip further.
Oil prices headed lower but worries about supply ahead kept losses contained. Worries about Libyan supply in the face of mounting unrest in that country added to prognoses that OPEC may keep cutting too.
Gold prices slipped back a little as risk appetite kept focus on better-yielding possibilities.
Monday’s remaining economic data schedule is a little spartan with only Canadian existing-home sales and the US Empire manufacturing survey likely to whet investor appetite.
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— Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
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