By Dow Jones Newswires
Asian stock markets jumped Friday, reflecting investor relief about upcoming trade talks between China and the U.S., as well as the dollar‘s gains against a basket of major currencies including the yen.
President Donald Trump on Thursday said he had a good talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and that trade talks were “moving along nicely.” The two will meet formally later this month, with investors hoping a deal will be reached to ease trade tensions.
Japan’s Nikkei (NIKKEI:JP:NIK) recovered after Thursday’s losses to close up 2.6%. Earnings season cast a pall on some stocks though. Suzuki Motor Corp. (TKS:JP:7269) was down 2.5%, off the worst of the day however, after its second-quarter operating profit slid 6.6% amid weaker sales in Europe, China and India — its biggest market. After a down day Thursday, telecoms rallied Friday, with Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (TKS:JP:9432) up 6.6% and NTT DoCoMo (TKS:JP:9437) rising 4%.
Chinese benchmarks were sharply higher amid hopes of easing the trade conflict, with the Shanghai Composite (SHG:CN:SHCOMP) up 2.7% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite (SHENHZEN:CN:399106) advancing 3.4%. Insurers and brokerage firms led the gains while oil stocks were muted as oil prices slumped.
Hong Kong stocks surged, with the Hang Seng Index (HONG:HK:HSI) up 4.2%. Sunny Optical (HKG:HK:2382) jumped 10% with index heavyweight Tencent (HKG:HK:700) adding 9%. Auto stocks saw renewed buying with Great Wall (HKG:HK:2333) and Geely Auto (HKG:HK:175) up 7% and 11% respectively. Among casino stocks, Galaxy Entertainment (HKG:HK:27) rose 9% and Wynn Macau (HKG:HK:1128) gained 13%. “The attitudes of both Chinese and U.S. leaders have been productive, bringing more positivity to the meeting at the end of the month,” said UOB Kay Hian stock strategist Ivan Ip.
Apple Inc. (NAS:AAPL) component manufacturers were mostly unaffected by the tech giant’s after-hours slump following record quarterly earnings but a warning of slower holiday sales. Taiwan’s Taiex rose 0.6%, as Foxconn (TAI:TW:2354) , Taiwan Semiconductor (TAI:TW:2330) and Largan Precision (TAI:TW:3008) all gained. South Korea’s Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721) was up 3.5% as Samsung (KRX:KR:005930) and SK Hynix (KRX:KR:000660) gained.
Benchmark indexes in Singapore (SES:SG:STI) , Malaysia (KLS:MY:FBMKLCI) and Indonesia (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX) were also up.
Australia’s ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO) was initially the one of region’s few losers, as the energy and financial sectors pulled down the index. But it, too, rebounded, to close up 0.1%. Oil Search Limited (ASX:AU:OSH) was off 1.2% and ANZ Bank (ASX:AU:ANZ) was off 1.2% as well. New Zealand’s benchmark index (NZE:NZ:NZ50GR) fell slightly, giving up less than 0.1%.