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March 8, 2018, 4:44 a.m. EST

Asian stocks bounce back, though worries remain post-Cohn

Hang Seng leads rebound, Nikkei rises as yen pulls back

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By Ese Erheriene


Bloomberg News
Stocks in Hong Kong surged Thursday.

Asia-Pacific stocks rebounded solidly Thursday, as markets in the U.S. and Europe stabilized overnight following weakness sparked by top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn’s resignation.

Stock prices have been swinging up and down this week as investors have tried to gauge what action will come from recent U.S. protectionist rhetoric.

Hong Kong stocks, which have seen some of the week’s biggest declines, climbed, leaving the Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.22%  up by 1.5%. Index heavyweights including Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 +0.18%   saw rebounds of at least 2%.

Taiwan’s Taiex  rose 0.7%, New Zealand’s NZX 50 /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR +0.49%   finished up 0.9% as did Singapore’s benchmark /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.53%   .

The Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.09%  closed up 0.5%, aided by an overnight pullback in the yen following a haven rally triggered by Cohn’s resignation. Electronics stocks were strong, with Nintendo /zigman2/quotes/208063194/delayed JP:7974 +2.86%   and Sharp /zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed JP:6753 +1.55%   respectively rising 4.1% and 2.1%.

Some market participants don’t expect this latest stock rebound to be sustainable just yet.

“There are still too many unanswered questions to think it safe to increase exposures to risk assets with any real conviction,” said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets. He said uncertainties include Thursday’s expected tariff announcement from President Donald Trump.

Also looming is Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting, Friday’s policy statement from the Bank of Japan and the end-of-week employment report out of the U.S.

There was upbeat economic news out of Asia-Pacific on Thursday, with Japanese growth revised strongly higher. Fourth-quarter expansion has now been put at 1.6% on an annualized basis, versus a preliminary estimate of 0.5%.

Meanwhile, Australia logged a much bigger than expected trade surplus for January. Paul Dales at Capital Economics called that “welcome news,” though he cautioned “it may be too early to conclude” that exports will add to the country’s economic growth this quarter. They cut into gross domestic product in the fourth quarter.

China said February exports surged 44.5% from a year earlier in dollar terms while imports rose 6.3%, resulting in a surprise surplus. But start-of-year Chinese economic data are volatile because of the shifting timing of the Lunar New Year holiday. It came in mid-February this year.

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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
26,436.62
-58.11 -0.22%
Volume: 956,293
Dec. 10, 2019 4:08p
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/zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed
HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 336.80
+0.60 +0.18%
Volume: 10.47M
Dec. 10, 2019 4:08p
P/E Ratio
32.83
Dividend Yield
0.30%
Market Cap
HK$3185.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$8.27M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed
NZ : New Zealand: NZX
11,284.22
+54.63 +0.49%
Volume: 0.00
Dec. 10, 2019 5:00p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed
SG : Singapore: SGX
3,162.89
-16.93 -0.53%
Volume: 0.00
Dec. 10, 2019 5:20p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
23,410.19
-20.51 -0.09%
Volume: 0.00
Dec. 10, 2019 3:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208063194/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 46,370.00
+1,290 +2.86%
Volume: 3.28M
Dec. 10, 2019 3:00p
P/E Ratio
29.01
Dividend Yield
1.64%
Market Cap
¥5370.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥217.41M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 1,702.00
+26.00 +1.55%
Volume: 2.16M
Dec. 10, 2019 3:00p
P/E Ratio
17.97
Dividend Yield
1.47%
Market Cap
¥1023.78 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥50.23M
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