Thursday, 19 April 2018

Asian stocks push higher, dollar pares advance

Asian stocks climbed to the highest in a month and measures of volatility continued to decline amid optimism that global growth can weather any impact from trade tensions. The dollar pared gains and oil extended its rise.

Shares from Sydney to Hong Kong rose. U.S. Treasury yields ticked lower after climbing to 2.87% Thursday in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report that showed a solid outlook for the economy despite trade concerns.

Energy firms climbed in the U.S. and Asia after an industry report showed crude inventories fell. The yen slid amid the positive investor sentiment and as U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to work closely on bilateral trade.

“The biggest dynamic in the market right now is the growth story,” Sandip Bhagat, chief investment officer at Whittier Trust Co., told Bloomberg TV. “We’re in the midst of a synchronized global recovery in growth and corporate profits are rising.” Trade wars, tariffs and inflation worries are just “distractions,” he said.

With investor optimism on the economy being tested increasingly by the flattening yield curve, geopolitical tensions showed continued signs of dissipating. The U.S. said it’s already started direct talks with North Korea and Russian leader Vladimir Putin was said to be seeking to dial down tensions with America. Japan’s Abe said he agreed with Trump to start talks on trade deals with America as their summit in Florida ended.

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