Asia shares bounce on strong China trade data

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Asian stocks markets were broadly positive Tuesday after China’s exports grew at a strong pace during March and imports rebounded giving investors heart that domestic demand is improving as part of the recovery from the pandemic.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was trading up 0.4% Tuesday after opening up less than 0.1% higher.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 bucked the regional trend and was flat while Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.1% in the afternoon session.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added nearly 1% while the mainland bluechip index CSI300 edged up 0.5% and ground after the March trade figures were published.

South Korea’s KOSPI 200 Index doubled its early gains to be up 1%.

China’s exports in dollar terms rose by 30.6% in March from one year earlier while imports jumped 38.1% compared to the same time last year, figures published Tuesday showed.

Imports grew at the fastest pace in four years which analysts said indicated a post-pandemic recovery in Chinese domestic demand.

“China is benefitting because of its surging ‘first in first out’ recovery but the global economy is also accelerating and picking up and that will diminish some of China’s export performance in the quarters ahead,” said John Woods, Credit Suisse’s Asia Pacific chief investment officer.

The trade data helped turn around a weaker tone that was evident earlier in Asia following declines on Wall Street overnight.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55.2 points, or 0.16%, to 33,745.4, the S&P 500 lost 0.81 points, or 0.02%, to 4,127.99 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 50.19 points, or 0.36%, to 13,850.00.

Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren said Monday the U.S. economy could see a significant rebound this year due to looser money and fiscal policy but the country’s job market still faced weakness.

He said with inflation still below the central bank’s 2% target rate the current “highly accommodative” monetary policy stance remained appropriate.

U.S. inflation data for March is due to be published later in the global day.

The dollar rose from near a three-week low against major rivals on Tuesday, buoyed by a bump in Treasury yields, as traders awaited the highly anticipated inflation data.

Sat Duhra, Singapore-based portfolio manager at Janus Henderson Investors, said he expected blips in inflation to be temporary and for there to be a long period of steady growth and low inflation, after a swift rebound from the pandemic. He also expects the rotation from the growth and momentum stocks into value-based ones to persist.

“The spread between equity yield and bond yields is still respectable and very interesting,” Duhra said.

“The gap in valuations between growth and value stocks is so large, that there is still a way for this to continue. It’s not rotation just for the sake of it.”

The benchmark 10-year yield was at 1.6943% in the Asian session, holding below a 14-month high of 1.776% reached on March 30.

Source: REUTERS

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