Asian stocks rise in midst of US-China trade tensions

24 Juin, 2018, 01:31 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was almost unchanged at 29,682.78 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China increased 0.6 percent to 2,934.18.

The CSI 300, which tracks large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen, increased by 0.44 per cent, or 15.94 points, to 3,608.91, while the Shanghai Composite Index also added 0.49 per cent, or 13.95 points, to 2,889.76.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index finished up 0.6 percent at 22,693.04, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.0 percent to 6,232.10. Taiwan's benchmark rose, but Southeast Asian indexes were mixed.

The Hong Kong stock market headed south again on Thursday, one session after it had halted the four-day losing streak in which it had given away nearly 1,650 points or 5 percent.

Investors are increasingly anxious that the USA and China are heading for full-blown trade war, following the United States president's fresh tariff announcement against China last week, and threats of more action if China retaliates. On Tuesday, China's government called President Donald Trump's threat of new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods "blackmail" and warned to retaliate with measures of its own.

The US administration has formally imposed tariffs on US$34 billion worth of Chinese imports, set to go in effect on July 6, while China last week retaliated with tariffs on US$34 billion of US goods.

POSITIVE HOUSING DATA: The solid USA job market has helped to boost demand for new homes. All of May's construction gains came from a 62 percent jump in the Midwest, while building slumped in the Northeast, South and West.

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QUOTEWORTHY: "Trade tension is going to dominate market sentiment in the weeks to come".

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Uncertainties surrounding how things are moving on Trump's trade deal, not only with China but also with other economies, are still out there", said Margaret Yang Yan of CMC Markets.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks moved mostly lower on Thursday as the Dow extended its losing streak to eight sessions. South Korea's Kospi dropped 1.0 percent to 2,339.95.

ENERGY: Oil futures ticked up ahead of Friday's OPEC meeting. Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are seeking to raise production by 1.5 million barrels per day, but they may not get their way, experts say. The contract settled at $64.90 per barrel on Tuesday.

ENERGY: U.S. crude gained 3 cents to $65.74 a barrel and Brent crude, the worldwide standard for oil prices, lost 13 cents to $74.61 a barrel in London.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 110.56 yen from 110.02 yen late Wednesday. The euro dipped to $1.1572 from $1.1575.

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