ASIA-PAC MARKET WRAP: Asia stocks gained amid encouraging data deluge

Asia stocks recouped some of the prior day’s losses with gains across the region after trade protectionism concerns somewhat eased and amid a continued friendlier tone from North Korea, with the nation said to offer a conditional halt to its ICBM program. ASX 200 (+0.7%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.4%) were higher with sentiment also underpinned by economic releases including encouraging trade figures in Australia and stronger than expected Japanese Final Q4 GDP. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+1.2%) outperformed and Shanghai Comp. (+0.1%) initially lagged after the PBoC refrained from liquidity operations, before better than expected Chinese trade data provided some inspiration. Finally, 10yr JGBs were subdued as demand lacked amid the improved risk appetite and following an uneventful enhanced-liquidity auction, while the BoJ also began their latest 2-day policy meeting which is not expected to provide any fireworks.