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Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

Asian stocks experienced gains on Thursday, with Hong Kong leading the way. Investors are optimistic about potential rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve in the coming year, a sentiment that has driven global markets since the Fed’s recent meeting.

While Tokyo faced a slight dip due to a stronger yen, most Asian bourses, including Shanghai, Seoul, Sydney, Taipei, Wellington, Jakarta, Manila, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, registered positive movements.

Hong Kong and Seoul emerged as leaders in the region, with the Hang Seng index rising by more than 2.5 percent during ongoing trading. The positive momentum followed gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street, which closed at another record high on Wednesday.

However, Japan’s performance was subdued, influenced by a strengthening yen and the expiration of the right to claim dividends for many shares, impacting the overall market. Despite concerns, global markets remain optimistic, fueled by the Fed’s indication that the rate-hike cycle may be nearing its end amidst a slowdown in global inflation.

Meanwhile, concerns in oil markets persist over the potential escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict and ongoing attacks on Red Sea shipping lanes by Yemen’s Huthi rebels. French shipping company CMA-CGM resumed some transit through the waterway, and Danish group Maersk announced its return under the supervision of a US-led naval coalition. Oil prices stabilized on Thursday following this news, with both WTI and Brent futures trading within a relatively narrow range.

However, not all news on the shipping front was positive, as German giant Hapag-Lloyd AG stated its intention to continue avoiding the Red Sea route, opting to route shipments via the Cape of Good Hope instead.

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