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

From Reuters - April 16, 2018

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asia stocks rose modestly on Tuesday following data showing Chinas economy grew a little faster than expected in the first quarter.

The dollar was barely changed, with demand for safe-haven U.S. Treasuries ebbing as investor risk appetite improved in parts of the broader markets as investors took the viewWestern-led strikes on Syria were a one-off intervention.Chinas economy grew a welcome 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, official data showed on Tuesday, unchanged from the previous quarter.

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

MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.05 percent.

Australian stocks gained 0.5 percent, South Koreas KOSPI dipped 0.1 percent and Hong Kongs Hang Seng gained 0.15 percent.

Shanghai rose0.15 percent and Japans Nikkei was flat.

While Saturdays 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.

The markets had been bracing for a possible escalation in Syria following President Trumps earlier warnings. Military action, however, has been limited, bringing relief, said Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.

That said, the underlying picture has not changed. Conflict continues in Syria and trade issues remain unresolved. Geopolitics will impact the markets again.


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