Asian stocks register their best quarterly gain in 7 years
April 1 (Reuters) - Asian stocks continued their rally in
March to post their best quarterly gain in 7 years, as optimism
about a Sino-U.S. trade deal and dovish shifts in major central
banks' monetary policies, propelled regional shares.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
rose about 9 percent in the first quarter of 2019, its biggest
quarterly gain since March 2012. Last month, the index rose 0.7
Ongoing negotiations between the United States and China
drove expectations that the two countries are inching towards a
deal to end a tariff war that had rattled the markets over the
On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that trade talks
with China were going very well, but cautioned , he would not
accept anything less than a "great deal", after the latest round
of negotiations in Beijing.
Asian shares were also lifted in the past month by the U.S.
Federal Reserve's dovish shift, abandoning projections for any
interest rate hikes this year after raising rates four times in
2018, and the European Central Bank's pushing back its policy
tightening plan to 2020.
In March, Indian equities led gains in the
region with a 7.7 percent rise, followed by New Zealand
and China. The rise in Indian equities' was their
biggest monthly gain since March 2016.
On the flip side, Srilanka and Malaysia were
the biggest losers, declining 4.45 percent and 3.75 percent
(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy
Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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