Asia Pacific markets were mostly higher Monday morning, after stronger-than-expected China data on Friday improved investor confidence.
In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.13 percent in early trade. The Topix index was up 1.46 percent. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.32 percent. Australia’s ASX 200 was up 0.1 percent .
Customs data showed China’s March exports were higher than expected: Dollar-denominated exports rose 14.2 percent on-year, topping prediction of a 7.3 percent gain, according to a Reuters poll. Still, imports fell short of expectations, indicating domestic demand in the world’s second-largest economy remained weak.
Encouraging developments in the U.S.-China trade negotiations also added to the positive sentiment,
In the currency market, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers, traded at 96.925, dipping from levels above 97.000 in the previous week.
The Japanese yen, considered a safe-haven currency, traded at 112.04 to the dollar, weakening from below 111.20. The Australian dollar traded near flat at $0.7172.
Oil prices edged lower on Monday after international benchmark Brent hit a fresh five-month high in the previous session, but concerns over global supplies provided a floor to losses.
Brent crude oil futures were at $71.40 a barrel at 0015 GMT, down 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. Brent closed up 1 percent on Friday when prices hit a high of $71.87 a barrel, the highest since Nov. 12.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.60 per barrel, down 29 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last settlement. WTI rose 0.5 percent on Friday.
The head of Libya’s National Oil Corp warned on Friday that renewed fighting could wipe out crude production in the country.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies meet in June to decide whether to continue withholding supply. OPEC, Russia and other producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, are reducing output by 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1 for six months.