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Asia: Stocks climb as yen weakens, China reopens


[SYDNEY] Asian stocks climbed and the yen weakened for a fourth day, with many of the region's equity markets returning from holidays on a positive note. Copper rose with the Aussie.

South Korea led gains across the region, with the Kospi briefly topping its previous record close. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended at an all-time high in the US. The yield on 10-year Treasuries held gains after the US Treasury secretary said his department is considering debt longer than 30 years. Oil traded near a one-month low. The Australian dollar extended gains ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision on policy.

Markets were whipsawed during the US session after President Donald Trump suggested reintroducing rules that keep commercial and investment banking operations separate, triggering a brief slide in bank stocks. Earnings remain in focus with companies including BP Plc and Apple Inc among those due to report results Tuesday.

China data continues to add to concerns about the strength of the global economy, with a gauge of April manufacturing falling below estimates. That comes after similar data from China over the weekend, and a weaker-than-expected GDP report from the US on Friday. Investors are awaiting Friday's key monthly government report on the American jobs market.

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Traders also are keeping an eye on geopolitics. Mr Trump said that if the circumstances were right, he would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un amid heightened tensions over his country's nuclear weapons programme. In France, voters go to the polls on Sunday for the second round of presidential elections.

Here are the key events and data releases due this week:

The RBA decides on monetary policy at 2:30pm in Sydney. The benchmark interest rate will remain unchanged at 1.5 per cent for a ninth month, traders and economists predict, after data last week showed quickening inflation.

Investors will be watching comments from a policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee Wednesday.

The monthly US government jobs report is due Friday.

BNP Paribas SA, Facebook Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc, Time Warner Inc, Pfizer Inc, Merck & Co, BMW AG, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Volkswagen AG are among companies releasing earnings this week.


The yen slid 0.1 per cent to 111.94 per US dollar as of 11:04am in Tokyo, following a 0.3 per cent slide on Monday. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped less than 0.1 per cent.

The Australian dollar climbed 0.2 per cent, advancing for a third day.


The Topix index rose 0.8 per cent, climbing for a second day to the highest since March. Tokyo markets will be closed for holidays over the next three days.

South Korea's Kospi index advanced 0.9 per cent, at one point climbing above its all-time closing high reached on May 2, 2011.

The Hang Seng rose 0.4 per cent and Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.9 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index decline 0.1 per cent, following four straight days of gains.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.5 per cent, breaking a seven-day rally, as banks declined. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd lost 2.4 per cent after missing first-half profit estimates.  


The yield on 10-year Treasuries was flat after jumping four basis points to 2.32 per cent Monday, its first advance after three straight declines.

The yield on Australian government debt with a similar maturity rose four basis points to 2.62 per cent.


West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.1 per cent to US$48.77, after dropping one per cent Monday as Libyan output surged, more rigs were added in the US and Saudi Arabia cut prices to Asian customers.

Copper on the London Metals Exchange rose one per cent.