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Asia stocks gain as investors shrug off Syria strikes

Asia stocks gain as investors shrug off Syria strikes

Asian stocks notched slim gains on Monday in morning session amid relief US-led strikes on Syria looked like being a one-off event and as investors digested the softer close on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 0.11% as the broader Topix added 0.05%. The financials sector was weaker on the whole, while precision machinery stocks were higher by 0.75%.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi edged up by 0.17%, with large cap technology stocks contributing to the index's overall advance.

Meanwhile, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 tacked on 0.14%. Materials stocks rose 1.04% in the morning, although heavily weighted financials slipped.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.3% and the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.2%. China reports its gross domestic product for the first quarter on Tuesday with market forecasts clustered around growth of 6.7% to 6.8%.

Markets appeared to mostly shrug off the latest developments in Syria in the early going following US-led precision missile strikes in Syria on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.

But with President Donald Trump declaring mission accomplished, investors wagered the worst had been avoided.

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

In currency news, the dollar inched up 0.2% on the yen to 107.53 yen, and away from last week's low around 106.62. The euro was flat at $1.2330, while the dollar index was a fraction firmer at 89.803.

In commodity markets, gold dipped 0.1% to $1,343.70 an ounce, and remained well short of last week’s peak at $1,365.23.

 

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