Asian stocks advanced, led by the first gain in eight days by Japan’s Topix index, after U.S. stocks rebounded amid improving economic data. The Australian dollar dropped with oil, while nickel headed for its longest rally in 17 years as tensions simmered in Ukraine.
Palm oil production in Southeast Asia, the largest growing region, is at increasing risk from the probable onset of an El Nino weather event later this year after estates were already hurt by dryness in the first quarter.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will fail to meet his goal of having women in 30 percent of management positions in the civil service by 2020 unless candidates are lured from private industry, the gender equality minister said in an interview.
U.S. President Barack Obama warned Russian President Vladimir Putin of further consequence over Ukraine after clashes between pro-Russian separatists and government forces in the east of the country turned deadly.
The U.S. readiness to impose new economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine is offset by the European Union’s reluctance to introduce stronger measures that could threaten its already fragile economic recovery.