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Asian Equities Follow U.S. Shares Higher; New Zealand Q2 GDP Outperforms Forecasts

Asian stocks were mostly higher in morning trade

Investing.com - Asian stocks were mostly higher in morning trade on Thursday, following a second day of gains on Wall Street as traders expected the impact of the U.S.-China trade war would be smaller than previously feared.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.6% higher, its highest close since late January, while the S&P 500 gained 0.1%.

The 10-year treasuries yield reached 3.09% on Wednesday, its highest level since May.

New Zealand’s Q2 GDP was in focus as data from the Stats NZ showed the country’s economic growth topped estimates. GDP rose 1% quarter-on-quarter in the three months through June and outperformed the general consensus of a 0.7% increase.

“The solid rise in GDP in the second quarter will give the RBNZ more confidence in its view that GDP growth will rise back above 3% next year. In contrast, we believe that low confidence, a soft housing market and easing net migration will result in growth slowing further next year, perhaps to around 2 per cent,” said Capital Economics economist Paul Dales.

The New Zealand dollar rose following the data release, while the ASX slipped 0.2% by 9:45PM ET (01:45 GMT).

Meanwhile, South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.8% as U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo called for a new round of talks with Pyongyang. The U.S. is hoping to achieve the goal of denuclearization by the end of President Donald Trump’s first term, reports suggested.

Separately, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in held two days of talks in Pyongyang, the first visit by a South Korean leader to the North Korean capital in 11 years.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched up 0.2% in morning trade. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to win a ruling party leadership vote this week, CNBC reported.

In China, the Shanghai Composite and the SZSE Component both traded 0.1% higher, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was also up 0.6%.

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