Asian Shares Rise After China Data, Yellen

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Asian stocks gained after better-than-expected Chinese trade data and dovish comments on Tuesday from new Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen.

China's exports rose 10.6% in January compared to a year earlier, accelerating from a 4.3% advance the previous month. The result was well ahead of a 2% forecast rise from a Reuters survey and projections for a 0.1% gain in a Wall Street Journal poll of economists. Imports increased by 10%, picking up their pace from an 8.3% December advance and beating estimates for a 3% rise in both the Reuters and Wall Street Journal surveys. The resulting trade surplus totaled $31.86 billion. The Wall Street Journal had tipped a $27.1 billion surplus, widening from December's $25.6 billion.

In testimony, Yellen said the Fed would likely continue with its easy money policy and the recovery in the labor market is far from finished.

The U.S. Congress also agreed to raise the U.S. debt ceiling without any add-on provisions also boosted sentiment.

In other news around the region, Japanese core machinery orders fell 15.7% in December on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, a sharp reverse from a big gain the previous month in this key gauge of capital expenditure and larger than the 4.1% decline expected in a median forecast of economists polled by The Wall Street Journal and the Nikkei.

A Westpac Banking Corp./Melbourne Institute index of Australia's consumer sentiment fell 3% in February from January to 100.2 points, just above the 100-point level that means optimists outnumber pessimists. Consumer confidence is now at its lowest level since July.

South Korean data showed January's unemployment rate rose for the second straight month.

In ADR news, Sony ( SNE ) is in talks with Apple ( AAPL ) to double its supply of camera components for a new iPhone, the Nikkei reported.

Toyota ( TM ) said it would recall about 1.9 million third-generation Prius cars sold worldwide to fix a programming glitch in the vehicle's hybrid system.

The Nikkei ended up 0.56% at 14,800.06, the Hang Seng up 1.47% at 22,285.79 and Shanghai up 0.3% at 2,109.96.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SNE , AAPL , TM

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