Asian markets surge; Chinese stocks jump as trade tensions ease
Asian stock markets jumped in early trading Friday, reflecting investor relief about upcoming trade talks between China and the U.S., as well as the dollar‘s gains against a basket of major currencies including the yen.
President Donald Trump on Thursday said he had a good talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and that trade talks were “moving along nicely.” The two will meet formally later this month, with investors hoping a deal will be reached to ease trade tensions.
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +1.23% recovered after yesterday’s losses, and was last up 1%. Earnings season cast a pall on some stocks though. Suzuki Motor Corp. 7269, -4.63% was down 4% following its earnings report after the closing bell yesterday. Its second-quarter operating profit slid 6.6% amid weaker sales in Europe, China and India — its biggest market. After a down day Thursday, telecoms rallied Friday, with Nippon Telegraph & Telephone 9432, +5.38% up 5% and NTT DoCoMo 9437, +3.03% rising 2%.
Chinese benchmarks were sharply higher amid hopes of easing the trade conflict, with the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +1.21% up 1% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +2.08% advancing 1.7%. Insurers and brokerage firms led the gains while oil stocks were muted as oil prices slumped.
Hong Kong stocks surged, with the Hang Seng Index HSI, +2.50% up 2.3%. Sunny Optical 2382, +8.01% jumped 7% with index heavyweight Tencent 0700, +6.55% adding 6%. Auto stocks saw renewed buying with Great Wall 2333, +5.54% and Geely Auto 0175, +7.68% up 4.7% and 5% respectively. Among casino stocks, Galaxy Entertainment 0027, +8.00% rose 7% and Wynn Macau 1128, +9.69% gained 9%. “The attitudes of both Chinese and U.S. leaders have been productive, bringing more positivity to the meeting at the end of the month,” said UOB Kay Hian stock strategist Ivan Ip.
Apple Inc. AAPL, +1.54% component manufacturers were mostly unaffected by the tech giant’s after-hours slump following record quarterly earnings but a warning of slower holiday sales. Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, +0.18% rose, as Foxconn 2354, +0.61% , Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, +0.42% and Largan Precision 3008, +2.55% all gained. South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +2.12% was up more than 2% as Samsung 005930, +2.02% and SK Hynix 000660, +3.66% gained.
Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, -0.27% was the region’s only loser, as the energy and financial sectors pulled down the index. Oil Search Limited OSH, -1.87% was off 2% and ANZ Bank ANZ, -1.32% was off 1.3%. New Zealand’s benchmark index NZ50GR, -0.13% rose slightly.
Benchmark indexes in Singapore STI, +0.61% , Malaysia FBMKLCI, -0.04% and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.07% were also up.
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