Asian stocks fall after Syria strike

Indonesia stocks up on strong trade data | Bangkok Post: news

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The world's second-largest economy expanded by 6.8 percent over a year earlier, in line with the quarter ending in December and down slightly from 2017's full-year expansion of 6.9 percent, data showed Tuesday.

Asian stocks wavered on Tuesday after data showed both hot and cold patches in the Chinese economy, but losses were limited as investors turned their focus to corporate earnings from Syria.

The dollar pulled back along with safe-haven U.S. Treasuries as investor risk appetite improved in the broader markets. MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe.MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 47 countries, gained 0.39 percent, though emerging market stocks dipped 0.58 percent.

EMini futures for the S&P 500 sprang 0.6 percent higher in early trade, while Japan's Nikkei added 0.3 percent.

In Korea, technology shares were a mixed picture, with Samsung Electronics gaining 1.1% while manufacturing stocks were mostly lower.

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Saturday's strikes were the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose ally Russian Federation is facing further USA economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.

Tokyo stocks closed higher Monday as investors were apparently relieved by the limited nature of the US -led strikes on Syria.

"Investors were relieved that the military action didn't expand further", said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co., as the strikes were limited to Syrian chemical weapons facilities and did not escalate into a direct confrontation with Russian Federation. Conflict continues in Syria and trade issues remain unresolved.

The Dow gained 0.87 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent on Monday, with the biggest boosts from technology and healthcare sectors as investors were optimistic about the earnings season and appeared less anxious about US -led missile attacks in Syria.

S&P 500 companies are expected to report an 18.6% jump in first-quarter profit, on average, the biggest rise in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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The euro was steady at $1.2330, while the dollar index eased a touch to 89.772.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 107.01 yen from 107.12 yen late Monday.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) stepped into the currency market again on Tuesday, buying HK$5.77 billion ($735 million) in Hong Kong dollars as the local currency repeatedly hit the lower end of its allowable trading band. Singapore fell 0.4 percent and Seoul was off 0.1 percent, while Wellington and Taipei also fell.

The yields on German DE10YT=RR and 10-year US government US10YT=RR bonds, among the most liquid and safe assets in the world, touched their highest levels in almost two weeks and four weeks, respectively.

Oil prices slipped with Brent crude futures off 66 cents at $71.92 a barrel, while USA crude fell 56 cents to $66.83 a barrel.

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