Asian shares rise, boosted by technology stocks

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.6 percent, with information technology shares rising 1.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei was 0.3 percent higher

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TOKYO/SHANGHAI: Asian shares picked up, helped by technology stocks as generally upbeat earnings overcame weakness in the global smartphone market and concerns about more regulation.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.6 percent, with information technology shares rising 1.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei was 0.3 percent higher.

Tech shares also lifted South Korea’s Kospi index, which rose 0.4 percent.

Some analysts cautioned that the rally in technology shares could face a short-term correction as valuations soar.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1.3 percent after the White House said on Monday that U.S.-China trade talks would resume next week.

On Tuesday, China reported exports and imports jumped in April, beating forecasts, but the news did not impact markets.

On Wall Street on Monday, the S&P 500 gained 0.35 percent, boosted by Apple’s sixth straight day of gains.

In currency markets, the dollar broadly held firm on the prospect of solid U.S. economic growth, helped partly by Trump’s tax cuts and spending, pointed to further rises in U.S. interest rates down the road.

That prompted investors to buy back dollars they had sold earlier this year on worries about Trump’s protectionist trade policies.

The euro hit a four-month low of $1.1897 on Monday and last stood at $1.1925.

Against the yen, the dollar stood little changed at 108.93 yen, off its three-month high of 110.05 yen.

The combination of higher oil prices, a strong dollar and higher U.S. rates is risky for some emerging market assets as it could significantly worsen their trade balance and also encourage investors to shift funds to higher-yielding U.S. assets.

JPMorgan’s emerging market bond index hit its lowest level in more than a year.

The Indian rupee hit a 15-month low while the Indonesian rupiah hit its lowest level since December 2015 on Tuesday.

Indonesia’s economy grew at 5.06 percent in January-March, down from 5.19 percent in the previous quarter.

The divergence between developed and emerging markets was also visible in equity prices. Brazil’s Bovespa hit three-month lows while Germany’s Dax hit three-month highs and Italian shares hit 8-1/2-year highs.