Asian stocks rise despite tensions

5 April, 2018

Asian equities higher on Thursday, as market participants weighed a potential increase in commercial tensions between the world’s two largest economies: the US and China.

Worries over the matter rose after China presented a plan to impose extra tariffs on 106 US products despite rumours indicating that both countries were negotiating to reduce conflicts.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!”

He also added: “When you’re already $500 Billion DOWN, you can’t lose!”

The Dow Jones industrial average ended 230.94 points in green territory at 24,264.30, adding more than 700 points from its previous close. Microsoft and IBM led gains.

The S&P 500 was up 1.2 percent at 2,644.69, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite increased 1.5 percent to end the session at 7,042.11.

Today, Japan's Nikkei 225 advanced 1.62 percent and the Topix gained 1.08 percent, with banking, real estate and pharmaceuticals components leading other sectors higher.

Meanwhile in Seoul, the Kospi benchmark rose 1.22 percent, with heavyweight Samsung Electronics rising almost five percent ahead of a key corporate earnings report due on Friday.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was also trading higher (+0.48 percent) thanks to the support of financials components which added about one percent. Pushing lower we’ve seen major mining names.

Ahead in the day, Germany’s factory orders for February will be released as of 06:00 GMT. Two hours later, Eurozone’s Markit services PMI will be out.

The German reading on the index is due 55 minutes later, while in the UK it will be out at 09:30 GMT. The bloc’s retail sales are expected at 09:00 GMT.

In the US, focus will turn to the latest trade balance figures at 12:30 GMT.

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