Asian stocks rose for the second straight day after cheerful fundamentals released from the Australian economy, backing the Australian dollar to incline to a three-week high against the U.S. dollar. Australia`s trade balance shocked markets with recording a surplus as exports to China and the United States picked up, while economists expected a widening trade deficit. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.4% by 10:55 a.m in Tokyo , as Australia`s S&P/ASX 200 index and Hong Kong`s Hang Seng index ended three days of losses. Emerging-market currencies managed to incline and offset some losses seen in last week`s sell wave. Thursday`s fundamentals showed the Australian trade balance recorded a surplus of AU$468 million compared with a previous deficit of AU$118 million, while analysts` expected a deficit of AU$200 million. Business confidence rose to 8 from 5, encouraging investors to buy the Australian dollar, and pushing stocks upside. Moreover, AUD climbed 0.7%, and the South Korean won picked up slightly. Malaysia`s ringgit climbed 0.2%, and the Indian rupiah inclined 0.3%. Furthermore, the currencies of Indonesia and Philippines also strengthened and started to offset last week`s losses. Four stocks inclined for every three that dropped on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, having the Hang Seng Index climbing 0.4%, following declines seen this week, while Korea`s Kospi index gained 0.9%. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7%, while Japan`s Topix index is fluctuating between gains and losses after it rose 2.1% in Wednesday trades.
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