Chinese markets rise amid positive US-China trade development; yuan jumps

Big 5

Asian markets rose in Wednesday afternoon trade following positive developments overnight on the U.S.-China trade front.

Mainland Chinese stocks soared by the afternoon, as the Shanghai composite rose 1.5% and the Shenzhen component gained 2.25%, while the Shenzhen composite added 2.24%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also jumped 2.37%.

Over in South Korea, the Kospi rose 1.11%, with shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics and chipmaker SK Hynix jumping 2.25% and 4.57%, respectively.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also gained 1.02%, with almost all sectors trading higher. The materials subindex rose around 1.3% as mining shares surged: Rio Tinto gained 2.05%, Fortescue Metals Group jumped 3.05% and BHP advanced 1.74%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.66% in afternoon trade as shares of conglomerate Softbank Group soared 3.57%. The Topix index also added 1.57%. Apple supplier Japan Display saw its stock surge 12.73% following a Wall Street Journal article that said Apple may help the display maker.

Data on Wednesday, however, showed Japan’s exports exports declined 7.8% in May from a year earlier, down for the sixth straight month.

“For the Bank of Japan and for policymakers, the message is very, very clear: the industrial part of the Japanese economy is in recession, ” Jesper Koll, senior adviser at WisdomTree Investments, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday.

US-China trade

Stocks surged overnight on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 353.01 points to 26,465.54 and the S&P 500 advanced 1% to 2,917.75. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.4% to 7,953.88.

That jump in U.S. markets came after U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet he “had a very good telephone conversation ” with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He added: “We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.” The summit will start on June 28.

The offshore Chinese yuan saw strong gains against the greenback following Trump’s comments, it last traded at 6.9072 after seeing levels above 6.93 yesterday, while its onshore counterpart changed hands at 6.9038.

Still, one economist voiced doubt about the upcoming meeting.

“We do not believe that the meeting will deliver a trade deal, even if the meeting does take place. From the Chinese side, the discussion with US President Trump is expected only to exchange views on fundamental issues concerning the development of China-US relations,” Iris Pang, Greater China economist at ING, wrote in a note.

“The news on the talks in Osaka is a short term positive for asset markets, but we believe any talks will change little unless either side makes some meaningful concessions, which we do not view as likely at this time,” Pang said.

Trade tensions between the two economic powerhouses had worsened in recent weeks with both raising tariffs on billions of dollars worth of their goods. Trump had also previously suggested that additional levies could be imposed on more Chinese imports.

Central bank watch

Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve kicked off a two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged at this meeting, though investors will be watching out for hints on rate cuts later in the year.

Expectations for a rate cut have increased in recent weeks, amid data on slowing jobs growth and manufacturing activity, as well as concerns over the impact of Washington’s protracted trade fight with Beijing on the global economy.

Meanwhile, Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, indicated there could be more stimulus measures in Europe. He said Tuesday: “In the absence of improvement, such that the sustained return of inflation to our aim is threatened, additional stimulus will be required.”

Trump criticized Draghi’s remarks, noting additional ECB stimulus makes it “unfairly easier ” for Europe to compete with the U.S. For his part, Draghi responded by saying “we don’t target the exchange rate. ”

The euro last traded at $1.1193, following a slide yesterday from levels above $1.123.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.649 after rising from levels below 97.6 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.35 against the dollar after a volatile session on Tuesday which saw it swinging between levels below 108.2 and above 108.6. The Australian dollar was at $0.6874 after rising from levels below $0.685 yesterday.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with the international benchmark Brent crude futures contract 0.11% higher at $62.21 per barrel and U.S. crude futures adding 0.26% to $54.04 per barrel.

Source: CNBC

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