Asian stocks bounce from three-and-a-half month lows as trade fears soften

Asian stocks bounced from a 3-1/2-month low on Wednesday as a slight softening in rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump helped ease worries about the U.S.-China tariff war and on expectations Beijing could release more economic stimulus.

Asian Stocks

“Chinese stocks are mounting a rebound as they had been oversold in recent sessions. Sentiment is also better as President Trump seems to be desiring a compromise,” said Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.5%.
  • The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1%.
  • Australian stocks added 0.6%.
  • South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.7%
  • Japan’s Nikkei dipped 0.1%.

Currency

A slim majority of economists polled by Reuters expects the central bank to keep rates at a record low although calls for a rate cut have grown louder after disappointingly weak first-quarter inflation.

  • The Chinese yuan was a shade firmer at 6.9005 per dollar in offshore trade
  • The dollar was steady at 109.615 yen
  • The euro was unchanged at $1.1204.
  • The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was nearly flat at 97.530 after gaining 0.2% the previous day.

Commodities

In commodity markets, oil prices remained a relatively tight range.

  • U.S. crude futures were down 0.55% at $61.44 per barrel
  • Brent crude lost 0.18% to $71.11 per barrel.

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