Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is not worried about an economic slowdown as the U.S. consumer is still in a strong place.Banksread more
Target CEO Brian Cornell says he's encouraged by Trump's decision to postpone some consumer-oriented tariffs that were supposed to start Sept. 1.Retailread more
Corporate debt recently passed the $1 trillion mark in a continuing sign of global financial displacement.Marketsread more
President Donald Trump proclaimed the economy healthy in a pair of tweets Wednesday, saying the only thing holding U.S. growth back was the Federal Reserve.Marketsread more
Trump said he has "been thinking about payroll taxes for a long time" — and he cautioned that "whether or not we do something now, it's not being done because of recession."Politicsread more
Target shares opened at record high after the retailer beat second-quarter earnings expectations and boosted its full-year estimates.Retailread more
Transports are stuck at a red light this month, but Old Dominion Freight Line has managed to steer clear of the trouble.Trading Nationread more
Sanders' sweeping proposal would make it easier for workers to join unions and end the so-called right-to-work laws recently favored by the GOP.2020 Electionsread more
Fitbit is hoping to shift its business model from relying on hardware sales to selling health plans and governments on software and services.Technologyread more
Lowe's also tops rival Home Depot on same-store sales growth in the U.S.Retailread more
"Under the guidance of the new CEO, Lowe's is getting its act together," says Oppenheimer's Brian Nagel. "If we're right here and this continues, this stock has a long way to...Retailread more
* Asian stock markets: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
* MSCI Asia-Pacific index up 0.6%, Nikkei rises 0.5%
* European stock futures modestly higher in early trade
* Stocks up as U.S. President Trump softens trade rhetoric
* China industrial output, retail sales fall short of forecasts
* Oil surge stalls on bigger-than-expected U.S. inventory build
TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) - Asian stocks rebounded from a 3-1/2-month low on Wednesday as a slight softening in rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump eased worries about the U.S.-China tariff war, and on expectations that Beijing could unveil more economic stimulus.
In Europe, the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.24% in early trade, Germany's DAX futures gained 0.25% and FTSE futures were up 0.3%.
Shares in Asia were led by strong gains in Chinese equities, which rebounded after two days of losses.
"Chinese stocks are mounting a rebound as they had been oversold in recent sessions. Sentiment is also better as President Trump seems to be desiring a compromise," said Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.6%. The index had fallen to its lowest level since the end of January the previous day as the Sino-U.S. trade conflict intensified. Beijing on Monday imposed a tariff hike on U.S. goods following Washington's decision last week to hike its levies on Chinese imports.
However, Trump on Tuesday said he had a "very good" dialog with China and insisted talks between the world's two largest economies had not collapsed. Wall Street shares were able to bounce overnight in wake of Trump's comments.
The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.4%, shrugging off concerns about economic growth following weaker-than-expected Chinese data released on Wednesday.
China on Wednesday reported surprisingly weaker growth in retail sales and industrial output for April, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more stimulus as the trade war with the United States escalates.
"The latest data shows that the Chinese economy still needs stimulus. Its stock markets could sustain its recovery if the government indicates it will continue to keep supporting the economy," Hirayama at SMBC Nikko Securities said.
Australian stocks added 0.8%, South Korea's KOSPI gained 0.6% and Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.5%.
The Chinese yuan was a shade firmer at 6.9028 per dollar in offshore trade, having edged away from a five-month trough of 6.9200 set on Tuesday.
The dollar was steady at 109.650 yen, having pulled away from a three-month low of 109.020 plumbed on Monday when trade war worries boosted investor demand for the safe-haven Japanese currency.
The euro was unchanged at $1.1207. The common currency had dipped nearly 0.2% the previous day after Italy's deputy prime minister said the country is ready to break European Union budget rules on debt levels if necessary to spur employment.
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was nearly flat at 97.524 after gaining 0.2% the previous day.
The Australian dollar brushed a 4-1/2-month low of $0.6922 after Wednesday's data showed domestic wage growth stalling in the first quarter, adding to the case for an interest rate cut. The underwhelming Chinese economic indicators also weighed on the Aussie, which is seen as a proxy of China-related trades.
In commodities, U.S. crude futures were down 0.76% at $61.31 per barrel after the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a bigger-than-expected build in crude oil inventory.
U.S. crude inventories rose by 8.6 million barrels in the week to May 10 to 477.8 million, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 800,000 barrels.
Brent crude lost 0.45% to $70.92 per barrel.
Brent and U.S. crude futures had surged the previous day after top exporter Saudi Arabia said explosive-laden drones launched by a Yemeni-armed movement aligned to Iran had attacked facilities belonging to state oil company Aramco. (Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Sam Holmes and Richard Borsuk)