Chinese trade data lifts Asian markets

Chinese markets Image copyright Getty Images

Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday, as stronger-than-expected trade data from China boosted investor sentiment.

The world's second-largest economy said exports in yuan terms surged 18.7% in March compared with the same period last year.

Investors cheered the data and the benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 1.4% to close at 3,066.64.

Asian markets were also pushed higher after oil prices jumped on Tuesday.

The rises followed reports that oil producers Russia and Saudi Arabia have reached a consensus about a freeze in output ahead of the producers' meeting in Doha, Qatar on 17 April.

In Australia, the commodities-heavy share index closed up 79 points, or 1.6%, at 5,054.69.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed up 452.43 points, or 2.8%, at 16,381.22.

Shares in Japan's Fast Retailing ended 6.5% higher on reports in local media that the company will slash prices at its Uniqlo clothing stores. The retailer last week warned that its profit for the full year to August would fall by 45%, due to slower sales.

In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index surged 3.2% to end at 21,158.71.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets in South Korea are shut for a public holiday. Trading will resume on Thursday.