World News

Asia stocks edge up on steady China GDP, earnings in focus

Asia stocks edge up on steady China GDP, earnings in focus

Asia stocks wavered on Tuesday after data showed both hot and cold patches in the Chinese economy, but losses were limited as investors turned their focus to corporate earnings from Syria.

Germany's DAX was flat at 12,440, while the CAC 40 in France was down 0.1 percent at 5,309. The world's second-largest economy expanded by 6.8 percent over a year earlier, in line with the quarter ending in December and down slightly from 2017's full-year expansion of 6.9 percent, data showed Tuesday.

"There are two stories here, one backward looking and one forward looking", said Robert Subbaraman, chief economist for Asia excluding Japan at Nomura in Singapore. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.1 percent at 30,300.30, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.4 percent to 3,099.90.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index rose 0.8 percent to 2,677.84 and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.9 percent to 24,573.04.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 erased initial gains and was virtually unchanged at 21,837.88. Australian stocks gained 0.3 percent with mining shares gaining on higher aluminium prices.

MIDDLE EAST: The leaders of Russia, Iran and the Hezbollah group in Lebanon said Sunday that Western airstrikes on their ally Syria, targeting its chemical weapons program, have complicated prospects for a political settlement to the country's seven-year conflict.

Global stock markets were stable and the price of oil fell Monday as investors seemed convinced that US -led air strikes on Syria would not escalate but remained cautious about tensions with Russian Federation. Conflict continues in Syria and trade issues remain unresolved.

Asian stocks ended mixed on Monday as worries about slowing growth in China and higher interest rates offset easing concerns about the geopolitical risks over Syria.

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The pound rose to Dollars 1.4355, its highest since June 2016, with focus on data that could cement expectations of a May interest rate increase from the Bank of England.

U.S. President Donald Trump's comments on Monday about China and Russian Federation trying to devalue their currencies continued to weigh on the dollar, with investors believing that the U.S. administration wants a weaker currency.

In another sign of the returning risk appetite, the euro rose above $1.24 to a three-week high and Southern European government debt outperformed better-rated peers.

The 10-year US Treasury note yield was at 2.834 percent after rising to 2.865 on Monday, its highest since March 22.

Buoyed by growing expectations over tighter supply in the aftermath of sanctions on major Russian producer Rusal, aluminum prices jumped more than 1 percent to nearly $2,500 a tonne to hit their highest since mid 2011.

ENERGY: Oil prices fell back from spikes last week on fears over an escalation of strife in the Middle East, with USA benchmark crude falling 72 cents to $66.67 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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


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