Shares up, oil down as Syria fallout seen limited

Shares up, oil down as Syria fallout seen limited”

Asia 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 was barely changed, with demand for safe-haven United States treasuries ebbing as investor risk appetite improved in parts of the broader markets as investors took the view that Western-led strikes on Syria were a one-off intervention.

But separate data showed March industrial output missed expectations and first-quarter fixed-asset investment growth slowed, tempering equity market gains.

"The more timely March data, however, point to nascent signs of a growth slowdown underway, led by these old economy sectors", Subbaraman said.

Australian stocks gained 0.5 percent, South Korea's KOSPI dipped 0.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.15 percent. Brent crude shed more than 1.5 percent to $71.45 a barrel, with a rise in USA drilling for new production also dragging on prices.

The Nikkei 225 Index rose 56.79 points or 0.3 percent to 21,835.53, while the broader Topix Index closed 0.4 percent higher at 1,736.22.

MIDDLE EAST: The leaders of Russia, Iran and the Hezbollah group in Lebanon said Sunday that Western airstrikes on their ally Syria, targeting its chemical weapons program, have complicated prospects for a political settlement to the country's seven-year conflict.

Tokyo stocks closed higher Monday as investors were apparently relieved by the limited nature of the USA -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.

More news: Delhi University students arrested for allegedly stalking Union minister Smriti Irani

Oil prices fell sharply and government bond yields rose on Monday on expectations that the weekend's missile attacks on Syria would not mark the start of greater Western involvement in the conflict. But the impact on financial markets in Asia was limited as it comes at a time of even harsher threats of US penalty tariffs on China and other nations.

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. Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was rising 0.3% and the Taiwan Weighted was little changed while Singapore's Straits Times index was declining 0.2%.

The euro was flat at $1.2330 EUR=, while the dollar index was a fraction firmer at 89.803.DXY.

Safe-haven assets eased in response, with yields on USA 10-year Treasury debt US10YT=RR up two basis points at 2.84 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 29 cents to $66.51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, which is used to price global oils, rose 23 cents to $71.65 per barrel.

US stock futures were pointing to a higher opening on Wall Street.

The dollar inched up 0.2 percent on the yen to 107.53 yen JPY=, and away from last week's low around 106.62.

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