Asian markets shrug off poor Chinese exports

Guy Bentley
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Asian markets have tempered their earlier optimism as China's latest trade data showed imports and exports under-performing market expectations.

In March, export growth came in at -6.6 per cent, significantly weaker than Bloomberg's median forecast of 4.8 per cent.

However, markets were reassured that the poor figures were partly attributable to distortions caused by over-invoicing of trade to get around strict capital control rules. China recorded a trade surplus of $7.7bn last month, recovering from a $23bn deficit in February.

As the recovery gathers pace in some of the world's largest economies, Chinese exports should see further improvements.

Investors also took heart from the minutes released from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting on 18-19 March. The minutes showed the Fed taking a relatively dovish approach to the possibility of future interest rate hikes.

Japan's Topix is up 0.05 per cent, while the Nikkei on the other hand is suffering a fall of 0.05 per cent. The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index has so far made gains of 0.14 per cent, while South Korea's Kospi is seeing declines of 0.02 per cent. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index is down 0.05 per cent.