Stocks in Asia close higher after global rally on French polls; Kospi hits multi-year high – CNBC

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Equities held in the green in Asia on Tuesday after the first round of France’s presidential election stoked a global relief rally, with several regional markets jumping to multi-year highs.

The dollar traded higher against a basket of rivals at 99.129 after previously falling to the 98 handle on the back of euro strength. Meanwhile, Singapore’s currency climbed to its highest level since the U.S. election last November, with the greenback fetching as little as 1.3902 Singapore dollars in Asia afternoon trading.

Khoon Goh, senior foreign-exchange strategist at ANZ, said the gains were due to a general “risk-on” tone in Asian markets, noting that the rupee, rupiah and South Korean won were all gaining as well.

The dollar gained against the yen to trade at 110.11, off the 109 handle seen earlier in the day, while the Australian dollar was rather flat at $0.7550.

“With ‘risk on’ buoying commodities, the Aussie dollar moved up more decisively towards 76 cents. But iron ore’s price recovery remained a tad shallow …and this was cause to be a little more circumspect about sustained rallies (in both the Aussie and iron ore),” Mizuho Senior Economist Vishnu Varathan said.

Oil prices ticked up after declining on doubts that OPEC would extend output cuts. U.S. crude traded 0.28 percent higher at $49.37 a barrel while Brent crude futures were up 0.29 percent at $51.75.

Meanwhile, HSBC was formally mandated to advise Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco on its initial public offering. HSBC shares traded 1.27 percent higher.

On the economic front, South Korea reported that April consumer confidence data hit a six-month high. It was the third straight month consumer confidence has increased on month.

Hong Kong March trade data is expected at 4:30 pm.

Stocks in Asia close higher after global rally on French polls; Kospi hits multi-year high – CNBC}

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