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Asia stocks climb, Japan’s bond yields head higher

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Stock price movements are seen on a screen at a securities company in Beijing on July 11, 2018. / AFP

Asian equities rose and the dollar strengthened as investors sifted through the latest news on the U.S.-China trade front and positive results from Apple Inc. Bonds fell as Japanese yields climbed higher after the central bank said it would allow more flexibility in yield movements.

Stocks climbed in Japan and South Korea, while they drifted elsewhere in the region. In a move seen as pressuring China back to the negotiating table, the Trump administration will propose raising to 25 percent its planned 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, three people familiar with the internal deliberations said. Earlier, the S&P 500 Index capped a fourth monthly gain after Bloomberg reported that the U.S. and China were trying to restart talks aimed at averting a full-blown trade war. The offshore yuan slipped as China weakened its fixing for the currency to the lowest since May 2017.

“The tariff issue is ongoing, I think it’s a negotiating tactic,” Nick Griffin, chief investment officer at Munro Partners, said on Bloomberg Television. “How much we take of this as real and affecting earnings is questionable at this stage. In terms of an actual earnings effect, it’s not that big at the moment, it’s mainly just sentiment and risk appetite and for that it’s a moving feast.”

Central banks remained in focus after the Bank of Japan tweaked its policy settings Tuesday, with the Bank of England expected to hike rates Thursday. The yen held most of its losses from yesterday, when the BOJ move disappointed those who had seen a chance of an outright hike in the bond-yield target. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is expected to hold its fire at its meeting Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Apple’s Taiwanese suppliers such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. advanced after the company projected sales that beat analysts’ estimates. Crude added to a monthly decline on wagers for higher production. — Bloomberg

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