Asian Stocks Gain Amidst China Optimism

Asian markets gained on Monday amidst optimism on the Chinese economic scenario ahead of the release of key readings including GDP, industrial production, retail sales, unemployment rate etc. Dovish comments from Bank of Japan’s Governor, People’s Bank of China keeping rates steady as well as positive earnings updates from the U.S. also supported sentiment.

The Chinese economy is expected to have grown 4 percent in the first quarter versus 2.9 percent earlier. Industrial production in March is seen rising to 4 percent from 2.4 percent in the previous period.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.42 percent to 3,385.61. The day’s trading ranged between 3,336.39 and 3,385.61. The Shenzhen Component Index gained 55 points or 0.47 percent to close at 11,855.48.

The Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 21 points or 0.07 percent to end trading at 28,514.78. The day’s trading range was between 28,414.98 and 28,599.75.

Yokohama Rubber Co topped with gains of 7.5 percent. Panasonic Corp gained 3.5 percent followed by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha that added a little over 3 percent. Nippon Yusen K.K and Mitsui Chemicals, both gained more than 2 percent.

Alps Electric Co was the biggest laggard with an overnight decline of 3.3 percent. Fast Retailing Co shed 2.7 percent. Shiseido Co, Tokyo Electric Power Co and Aeon Co, all declined more than 1 percent.

The Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange advanced 343 points or 1.68 percent from the previous close to finish trading at 20,782.45. The day’s trading range was between a high of 20,864.74 and a low of 20,299.15.

Korean Stock Exchange’s Kospi Index added 4 points or 0.17 percent to close trading at 2,575.91. The day’s trading range was between 2,561.14 and 2,577.08.

Australia’s S&P/ASX200 closed trading at 7,381.50 after gaining 20 points or 0.27 percent. The day’s trading was between 7,361.60 and 7,391.20.

Lithium developer Lake Resources surged 18.5 percent following announcement of lithium carbonate production milestone at Argentina’s Project Kachi. Lithium producer Sayona Mining added 10.3 percent after it announced the expansion of its Canadian lithium base. The Star Entertainment Group gained 4.9 percent. Pharmaceutical business Imugene and real estate business Centuria Capital Group, both added more than 3 percent.

Regis Resources plunged more than 11 percent following a disappointing production update for the March quarter. Energy businesses New Hope Corporation dropped 9.5 percent. West African Resources shed 7.3 percent. Silver Lake Resources and De Grey Mining, both declined more than 4 percent.

The NZX 50 of the New Zealand Stock Exchange added 56 points or 0.47 percent to close at 11,936.15. Trading ranged between 11,826.51 and 11,936.15.

Oceania Healthcare that owns and operates retirement villages and care facilities for the elderly topped with gains of 2.9 percent, followed by apparel maker KMD Brands that rallied 2.8 percent. Banking business ANZ Group Holdings, medical devices business Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Arvida Group that owns and operates retirement villages and care facilities for the elderly, all gained close to 2 percent.

Software business EROAD was the biggest laggard with a decline of more than 3 percent. Healthcare business Pacific Edge shed 2.2 percent. Sky Network Television, banking business Heartland Group Holdings and Polymer business Skellerup Holdings, all lost more than 1 percent.

Wall Street had closed on a negative note on Friday as a strong set of earnings and an unexpected rise in consumer sentiment triggered fears of further rate hikes by the Fed. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.35 percent to close at 12,123.46 whereas the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.42 percent to finish trading at 33,886.47.

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