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Asia stocks waver after China data, earnings in focus

17 April 2018

Spreadbetters expected European stocks to open higher following overnight Wall Street gains, with Britain's FTSE rising 0.15 percent, Germany's DAX gaining 0.3 percent and France's CAC climbing 0.3 percent. The world's second biggest economy was expected to have carried most of its strong momentum from previous year into the first quarter of 2018, after growing 6.8 per cent in the fourth quarter.

But separate data showed March industrial output missed expectations and first-quarter fixed-asset investment growth slowed, tempering equity market gains.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index faded 492.79 points, or 1.6%, to 30,315.59, as financials and technology names took a hit.

Shanghai rose 0.15 percent and Japan's Nikkei was flat. US shares were set to drift higher with the Dow future gaining 0.4 percent to 24,663.

While Saturday's missile strikes were the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syria, investor risk appetite improved on speculation that the attacks would not lead to prolonged 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. "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. He added: "With trade war and now Syria fatigue likely to set in, however, it's best not to get too comfortable at this point as market risk sentiment swings will remain large this week". But the impact on financial markets in Asia was limited as it comes at a time of even harsher threats of US penalty tariffs on China and other nations.

Trump Dismisses Russia Claims Syria Successfully Shot Down US Missiles
McKenzie, the director of the Joint Staff. " The Russian air defenses weren't employed " as Syria was hit by missiles, he added. French President Emmanuel Macron said after allied forces launched a missile attack in Syria last weekend that he persuaded Mr.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was little changed at 89.407 after losing 0.4 per cent overnight. The euro edged higher, to $1.2364 from $1.2333.

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. The pound touched a near three-month high of $1.4346 and in reach of a post-Brexit referendum high with focus on data that could cement expectations of a May interest rate increase by the Bank of England.

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.

Oil prices slipped with Brent crude futures (LCOc1) off 31 cents at $72.27 a barrel, while USA crude (CLc1) fell 26 cents to $67.13 a barrel.

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.

Asia stocks waver after China data, earnings in focus