Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Japan exports, imports surge in sign of renewed vigor

GLOBAL MARKETS-Sterling on a high; shares sidelined as caution rules US stocks start to bounce back, led by gains for banks
Juana Turner | 21 April, 2017, 00:31

People walk past an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Thursday, April 20, 2017.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday boosted its economic forecast for Japan, projecting a 1.2 percent annual expansion this year from a January projection of 0.8 percent.

Overall imports also jumped by 15.8 percent to 1.35 trillion yen due to a rise in crude oil prices.

"Exports look pretty good, and we expect this to contribute to growth this year", said Hidenobu Tokuda, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute.

Japanese stocks rose 0.2 percent, buoyed by data showing exports rose a stronger-than-expected 12.0 percent in March from a year earlier and a Reuters survey that showed confidence among Japanese manufacturers has risen to levels not seen since before the 2008 global financial crisis.

U.S. crude futures climbed 0.65 per cent to $50.77 a barrel, after posting a near 4 per cent drop overnight, the biggest one-day decline since March 8. USA crude futures climbed 0.22 percent to $50.55 a barrel, after posting a near 4 percent drop overnight, the biggest one-day decline since March 8.

In fact, prices accounted for a large share, 12.5 percent year-on-year, of the increase in imports, said Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics.

NORTH KOREA FACTOR: President Donald Trump's recent statement that the U.S. wants peace followed by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley's message to North Korea on Wednesday that, "We're not trying to pick a fight" appeared to help take the edge off of recent worries over brewing tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1 per cent after declining 0.5 per cent in early trades. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 0.4 percent to 23,921.39 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.3 percent to 5,818.70. The Shanghai Composite index edged less than 0.1 percent higher to 3,172.10 and Southeast Asian benchmarks were higher.

The dollar failed to capitalize on higher USA yields with the greenback hugging the 200-day moving average of around 108.85 against the Japanese yen as traders preferred to trade on market technicals rather than take fresh bets. The euro rose to $1.0721 from $1.0712.

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