Hong Kong, China – Asian markets were on the rise Friday following strong leads from Wall Street and Europe, with investors cautiously optimistic about upcoming US-China trade talks.
Negotiators from Washington and Beijing will meet later this month in the first publicly announced meeting in weeks on their bitter trade dispute, which has seen both sides impose reciprocal tariffs on goods worth $34 billion.
The news helped global markets regain composure after several days of volatility sparked by fears that Turkey’s financial crisis could infect other economies.
Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed 0.35 percent higher, and Sydney ended up 0.2 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.4 percent and Singapore rose 0.3 percent in afternoon Asian trade, but Shanghai was down 0.6 percent.
Despite the positive wave through world markets after several nervous days, analysts have said a quick resolution of the trade spat between the world’s top two economies is unlikely, with more US tariffs in the works on more Chinese goods.
Markets were “cautiously optimistic” about prospects of resolving the trade war after Beijing announced it would send a representative to Washington, although Rodrigo Catril of National Australia Bank noted the “relatively low rank of the negotiators” meant reaction was guarded.
But despite the tough talk, “there are reasons for both sides to come to a resolution,” Adam Reynolds of Saxo Capital Markets told Bloomberg TV.
And fears about Turkey’s financial crisis also persist, despite the recent stabilisation of the lira, as a diplomatic row with the US shows no signs of abating.
Washington has already imposed economic sanctions on Ankara over the detention of an American pastor, and threatened more if he is not released.
Meanwhile, the positive sentiment on Wall Street that impacted Friday’s Asian trade was boosted by Walmart’s strong earnings.
Plane maker Boeing and industrial machinery giant Caterpillar — two companies seen as especially vulnerable to the US-China trade war — were up too.
With a mixed mood in the markets after a troubled week, investors have taken positions in safer stocks as tensions have not completely subsided, analysts say.
“I don’t think we’re quite out of the woods yet,” Marcus Miholich of State Street Global Advisors told Bloomberg News.
– Key figures around 0630 GMT –
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.35 percent at 22,270.38 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.4 percent at 27,211.02
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.6 percent at 2,689.76
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.81 from 110.88
Euro/dollar: UP at 1.1388 from 1.1379
Dollar/Turkish lira: DOWN at 5.7690 from 5.8495
Pound/dollar: UP at 1.2732 from 1.2716
Oil – Brent Crude: FLAT at $71.34 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: FLAT at $65.41 per barrel
New York – Dow Jones: UP 1.6 percent at 25,558.73 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.8 percent at 7,556.38 (close)