On Apr. 13, Asia’s stocks nearly hit their first highs for this year due to an unexpected revival of the Chinese trade. According to China’s official reports, exports rose 11.5 percent last month from a year prior.
The trade data revealed the first gain since June, which beat all expectations. Chinese trade started to gain momentum in February when investors pushed the country’s assets to new levels.
Savanth Sebastian of the Australia-based fund managing firm CommSec noted that the latest trade data will certainly help investors regain optimism since readings clearly suggest that the economic activity is ‘lifting.’ Plus, the recent increase of commodity prices should also help investors feel more confident.
Shanghai shares rose 2.2 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index increased 2.8 percent, which is the largest gain in the last 42 days. Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan jumped 1.6 percent which almost reached a new high for the year.
Oil prices brought gains overnight due to new reports that Saudi Arabia and Russia might have just struck a deal to put a cap on oil production. Nevertheless, the news was not confirmed by Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi in today’s interview with the Al-Hayat newspaper
The Brent Crude slipped to $44.16 per barrel, after a 4 percent gain on Tuesday. U.S. Crude slipped 57 cents to $41.60. Citi experts said that U.S. crude is still above its moving average over the last 200 days because it started to go down in 2014. Experts expect higher levels to remain visible until the end of the year.
On Tuesday, energy stocks helped Dow gain 0.94 percent, S&P 500 finish 0.97 percent higher, Nasdaq gain 0.8 percent and S&P 500 energy industry 2.8 percent. All S&P sectors finished with gains while Dow had its largest increase in nearly a month.
The gains in the energy sector pushed Canada’s currency, which is critically influenced by oil prices, to a nine-month high: 1 U.S. dollar traded for 1.2765 Canadian dollars, which is the highest gain since July.
On the other hand, energy sector gains eroded the yen, and made it slip from recent highs. One U.S. dollar trades now for 108.91 yen while the euro jumped to 123.80 yen which is slightly better than the three year low from March.
Image Source: Wikimedia