Asian Stocks Finish Higher as US-China Trade War Eases

July 12, 2018
Asian Stocks Finish Higher as US-China Trade War Eases

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks closed mostly higher on Thursday on expectations that U.S. threats to expand tariffs are bluff and bluster and trade agreements will ultimately be reached.

Oil steadied after going into free fall on Wednesday amid supply concerns and the yen weakened ahead of U.S. consumer price inflation due tonight, while gold held steady near a one-week low.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index soared 60.53 points or 2.2 percent to 2,838.30 after plunging 1.8 percent in the previous session on trade worries.

China has vowed to take countermeasures in response to the new U.S. tariffs, which will not take effect until after a two-month review process. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 169.14 points or 0.6 percent to finish at 28,480.83.

Japanese shares recovered from sharp losses in the previous session after the dollar hit a six-month high against the yen on the back of strong producer price inflation data released overnight.

The Nikkei 225 Index rallied 255.75 points or 1.2 percent to 22,187.96, while the broader Topix Index closed 0.5 percent higher at 1,709.68.

Electronics maker Sony rose 0.9 percent, automaker Honda Motor gained 0.7 percent and Toyota Motor added 1.4 percent. Market heavyweight Fast Retailing jumped 3.8 percent.

Mobile carrier SoftBank soared 6.4 percent after U.S. investment fund Tiger Global acquired a stake of more than $1 billion in the company.

Australian shares advanced as investors brushed aside trade war fears. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose steadily to end the session up by 52.70 points or 0.9 percent at 6,268.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index climbed 49.60 points or 0.8 percent to 6,349.80.

The big four banks jumped between 1.6 percent and 2.2 percent after the sector watchdog said there is no evidence of a mortgage credit crunch. Healthcare stocks also gained ground, with CSL rising 2.6 percent and Cochlear adding 1.3 percent.

Meanwhile, a plunge in base metal prices weighed on miners, with heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto ending down 0.6 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Woodside Petroleum shed 0.9 percent and Origin Energy tumbled over 3 percent after oil prices fell 5 percent overnight on supply worries.

On the data front, Australia’s inflationary expectations declined in July, survey data from the Melbourne Institute showed. The expected inflation rate fell by 0.3 percentage points to 3.9 percent from 4.2 percent in June.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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