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Asian Stocks Surge as Commodities Rally on Global Economic Growth Optimism

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks rose across the board on Thursday as trade tensions faded and commodities rallied on optimism about global economic growth.

While the dollar continued to trade in a narrow range against the yen, oil prices held near 3-1/2 year highs after reports that top oil exporter Saudi Arabia would be happy to see crude prices surge up to $100 a barrel over the coming months.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 26.15 points or 0.9 percent at 3,117.55, led by gains by material and energy stocks. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged up 424.19 points or 1.4 percent to 30,708.44.

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Japanese shares hit a seven-week high after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump said they had agreed to intensify consultations for expanding investment and trade between the two longtime allies.

The Nikkei 225 Index edged up 32.98 points or 0.2 percent to 22,191.18, while the broader Topix Index closed marginally higher at 1,750.18.

Komatsu, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Nippon Steel, Kobe Steel, JFE Holdings, Mitsubishi Materials, Toha Zinc, Mitsui Mining and Smelting and Sumitomo Metal Mining soared 3-8 percent. Automaker Subaru Corp declined 2.3 percent after allegations of mileage cheating.

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Australian shares extended gains for the fifth straight session as surging metal and oil prices helped lift mining and energy stocks.

Investors shrugged off a jobs report showing that the Australian economy added 4.900 jobs last month, well shy of estimates for an increase of 20,000 jobs following the increase of 17,500 jobs in the previous month.

Separate survey data from National Australia Bank showed that Australia’s business sentiment index remained unchanged at +7 in the first quarter.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 19.60 points or 0.3 percent to 5,881.00, while the broader All Ordinaries Index closed up 20.10 points or 0.3 percent at 5,976.40.

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BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group, South32 and Alumina jumped 3-7 percent after industrial commodity prices rallied overnight on fears of tightening supplies.

Gold miner Evolution Mining gained 0.9 percent after reporting an increase in gold production in the March quarter.

Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search rose about 1 percent after crude oil prices jumped almost 3 percent overnight on fears of supply disruptions and a drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Meanwhile, wealth manager AMP extended losses to end down 2.9 percent at a more than four-year low.

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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