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Crude could hit $80 by end of 2018

Separately, Chong said Asian stocks could extend their gains this year. In particular, he said he likes Chinese stocks such as tech firm and exporters, both of which are still “not too expensive.” However, he said he would stay away from the region’s utilities and telecom stocks.

Chong, like many other investors, downplayed risks to financial markets from North Korea’s nuclear threats. He said that shifts in monetary policy globally will have a greater impact on where investors park their money.

“Investors have been taking it (North Korean risks) with a pinch of salt and assume that sanity will prevail eventually,” Chong said. “I think people will act rationally in the end. There are big interested parties — South Korea, China and the U.S. — whom I think wouldn’t want (any catastrophe) to happen.”

— CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report

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