Asian stocks up on Wall St rise, German data
Asian markets rose on Wednesday after the Dow closed at a record high on renewed optimism over the US economy and European markets soared following the release of impressive German factory orders data.
Tokyo climbed 1.35 per cent by the break, a day after the Nikkei finished at its highest level in almost five years, Seoul gained 0.25 per cent and Sydney increased 0.77 per cent.
Hong Kong was up 0.59 per cent while Shanghai added 0.42 per cent as official data showed China recorded an US$18.2 billion (HK$141.2 billion) trade surplus in April, higher than expected and reversing a rare deficit in March.
In New York Tuesday the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 15,000 for the first time, jumping 0.58 per cent, or 87.31 points, to 15,056.20, bolstering equities such as Caterpillar.
The S&P 500 rose 0.52 per cent to 1,625.96 -- its fourth consecutive all-time closing high -- while Nasdaq increased 0.11 per cent.
Stocks have been buoyed of late by heavy monetary easing from central banks, an ECB interest rate cut to a record low 0.50 per cent, and positive jobs reports from the US.
European equities rallied Tuesday with Frankfurt notching an all-time high following upbeat factory data. Germany’s DAX 30 index of leading shares jumped as high as 8,197.72 points, surpassing its previous record in July 2007.
Industrial orders jumped by 2.2 per cent in March compared with February, propelled by rising demand for German-made goods, economy ministry data showed.
On the forex market the euro gained, aided by the upbeat German economic data, but speculation over additional easing measures from the European Central Bank capped its rise.
In morning Tokyo trade, the euro fetched US$1.3090 and 129.67 yen against US$1.3077 and 129.41 yen in US trade on Tuesday.
The dollar, meanwhile, was quoted at 99.05 yen, strengthening modestly from 98.96 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.
In China, Customs said April imports to the world’s second-largest economy increased 16.8 per cent year-on-year to US$168.9 billion while exports rose 14.7 per cent to US$187.1 billion.
The monthly surplus came after the country posted a rare deficit of US$880 million in March and was higher than the median forecast of US$15.6 billion in a poll of 12 economists by Dow Jones Newswires.
“April trade data was higher across the board, providing a rare upside surprise following weeks of disappointing data readings,” BBY institutional dealer Anson Rosewall told Dow Jones.
“The trade report, including a strong import showing, may suggest improving domestic economic conditions heading further into this year.”
China releases inflation and industrial output figures on Thursday.
Oil was down in Asian trade, with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June dropping 17 cents to US$95.45 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for June delivery shedding 36 cents to US$104.04.
Gold was at US$1,456.30 an ounce at 1105 GMT compared with US$1,460.00 late Tuesday.