Room for more stimulus comment pushes US markets higher

<p>Asian stocks were mostly higher today on the back of US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments last night. The region welcomed South Korea’s economic […]</p>

Asian stocks were mostly higher today on the back of US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments last night.

The region welcomed South Korea’s economic growth numbers out this morning, sending the won higher. The South Korean economy grew at its fastest pace in a year.

The MSCI Asia Pacific index was 0.5% higher in early afternoon Tokyo trading. S&P500 index future were mostly unchanged from yesterday’s closing levels.

While energy prices have recently cooled, natural gas added around 0.4% overnight to extend the biggest rally in two months. Still this is coming from a very low base and those exposed to US natural gas, like BHP Billiton for example, will be hoping the recovery continues.

In currencies, the Australian dollar was last buying 1.0370 against the US dollar.

The Euro continues its recent winning streak, last at 1.3218.

The US dollar/Japanese Yen was last settling at 81.16, down from an intraday high of 81.42.

Commodities were little changed from this morning’s levels.

In regional corporate news, Hyundai Motor reported net profit of 2.45 trillion won during its first quarter of the year, exceeding market consensus estimate of 2.07 trillion. Operating profit was about expectations, even when making adjustments, while sales were actually in line at 20.16 trillion. Margin composition was better than expected. Sales numbers were drive by market share gains overseas.

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