Asian stocks were mostly firmer after benign Chinese economic data helped offset risk aversion generated by a continuing slide in crude oil prices, while the dollar fell to a one-month low against the safe-haven yen. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan pared earlier losses to rise 0.3 percent after Chinese trade data proved better than expected.
The indicators provided relief as recent signs of weakness in the world’s second largest economy has been central in worries over global growth. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.7 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8 percent.
But Australian shares were down 0.3 percent, highlighting still prevalent concerns about tumbling crude oil prices. Japan’s Nikkei underperformed its Asian peers and shed 1.7 percent as investors returned after a three-day weekend.
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