Asia stocks edge higher as investors await China’s March trade data

Asia stocks edge higher as investors await China’s March trade data

Stocks in Asia edged higher in Tuesday morning trade ahead of the release of Chinese trade data for March.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 0.48% while the Topix index gained 0.34%.

Shares of Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group bucked the overall trend as they dropped 3.24% after the firm announced on Monday that it expected its Vision Fund to book a loss of 1.8 trillion Japanese yen (approx. $16.73 billion) for fiscal 2019, citing a “deteriorating market environment.”

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.66%. Shares in Australia also edged higher as they returned to trade following holidays on Friday and Monday, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.14%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.09% higher.

Meanwhile, China’s trade data for March is set to be out on Tuesday morning. It will be watched by investors as the country returns to business following its lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has severely impacted economic activity.

Markets in India are closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell for the first time in three sessions. The 30-stock Dow slipped 328.60 points to close at 23,390.77 while the S&P 500 declined 1% to 2,761.63. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, on the other hand, added 0.5% to close at 8,192.42.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 99.346 after touching levels above 99.5 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.62 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 108.0 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.6395, still above levels below $0.62 seen last week.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.64% to $32.26 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also added 2.05% to $22.87 per barrel.

What’s on tap for Tuesday:

  • China: Trade data for March

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