May 2 (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose for the fourth straight month in April, bolstered by China’s better-than-expected economic data and on optimism that the United States and China are inching towards a trade deal.
In April, the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, gained about 1.6 percent, its biggest gain since January.
Boosting regional optimism, China posted economic growth of 6.4 percent in the first quarter, in a sign that Beijing’s policy stimulus is gaining traction in the world’s second-largest economy. Industrial output in March expanded at the fastest pace since mid-2014.
Also, the recent meetings between the U.S. and Chinese officials to hammer out a trade deal lifted Asian shares.
The United States and China are nearing a trade deal that would roll back a portion of the $250 billion in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, Politico reported on Wednesday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the two countries completed “productive” talks in Beijing.
In April, Singapore equities led the regional gains with a 5.8 percent rise, followed by Japan and Taiwan .
On the other hand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were the biggest losers, with declines of 4.8 percent and 1.42 percent, respectively.
Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich