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Asian Equities Remain Near Six Year Highs

Asian stocks climbed, with the regional index at a six-year high, and credit risk in the region fell as expanding manufacturing in the largest economies buoys the global outlook. Australia’s dollar dropped after worse-than-estimated trade data, while platinum and copper slid.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7 percent by 12:13 p.m. in Tokyo, trading at the highest level since June 10, 2008, as all major regional indexes gained. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.1 percent after the measure surged to a record. A gauge of Asian credit-default swaps prices fell 2 basis points, the most since June 19. The Aussie lost 0.4 percent. Platinum snapped a three-day rally, sliding 0.6 percent. Copper fell 0.5 percent after touching the highest price since March.

Data yesterday showed Chinese manufacturing grew at the fastest pace this year in June, factory output in the U.K. unexpectedly strengthened, and U.S. activity held near a five-month high, fueling speculation the economy can bear higher interest rates from next year. Australia’s trade deficit was A$1.91 billion ($1.81 billion), more than nine times wider than the A$200 million shortfall estimated by economists. Private figures on U.S. payrolls are due today, before the government’s monthly report tomorrow.

Bloomberg [1]

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