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Asian markets power ahead on rising trade-talks hopes

AFP  |  Hong Kong 

Increasing that and the US will be able to hammer out a deal to help ease their trade war provided the impetus for more gains across Asian markets on Wednesday.

After taking a battering in December and suffering a shaky start to 2019, confidence is slowly returning to equity trading floors, though dealers remain on edge.

Federal Reserve boss provided the platform for a rally last week when he said the central had no "pre-set" plan for lifting interest rates and was "listening" to markets, signalling that the pace of hikes could slow this year.

Fear of higher borrowing rates was a major cause of last year's stocks losses.

The mood among dealers has improved markedly this week as officials from and the US hunker down for trade negotiations in that have extended into a third day.

US on Tuesday described them as going "very well".

also reported sources as saying Trump is keen to get a deal done in order to boost stock markets, which he regards as a gauge of his success.

Also, said the two were moving in the right direction, with ready to buy more US goods and services, while further talks at Cabinet level were being lined up next week.

The progress in talks "is fuelling investor suggesting there might be a light at the end of the trade war tumultuous tunnel", said Stephen Innes, of trade at

In morning trade Hong Kong rose 2.4 per cent and added 1.6 per cent, while went into the break 1.3 per cent higher.

jumped 0.9 per cent with Singapore, while Taipei, and were each more than one per cent higher. There were also healthy gains in

added 1.8 per cent as North Korean leader visits with speculation swirling that he will meet Trump for a second summit later this year.

The gains also come after a strong reading on US jobs creation Friday, which soothed worries that the US economy was slowing down, and ahead of the corporate earnings season.

"When the dust settles, if it ever does, the fear of recession will prove to be premature," Bob Doll, an at Nuveen Asset Management, told TV.

"We will have growth, yes, slowed from the 2018 pace and we will have... earnings, yes, slowed from the 2018 pace, but acceptable for investors and that will allow equity markets to move higher."

The dollar continued to face selling against higher-yielding currencies as a new-found confidence saw investors seek out riskier assets.

The South African rand, Australian dollar and South Korean won were among the best performers.

-- which have tumbled in recent months partly because of worries about the impact on demand of the China-US trade war -- were also up with WTI back at about USD 50 for the first time in more than three weeks.

WTI and Brent are up around 10 per cent already this year, having plunged by about a third from their four-year highs touched in early October on supply-and-demand worries.

The gains have also been helped by hopes that OPEC and other major producers including will put the brakes on output this year.

"The market is clearly rebounding from sharply oversold territory," said Michael Tran, at

"The macro outlook looks and feels a lot less dire than it did just a couple of weeks ago.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 09:50 IST