Asian shares mixed after US benchmarks hit record highs

05-Jul-2019 Intellasia | AP | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Shares were mixed in Asia on Thursday after major US indexes hit fresh record highs, buoyed by the easing of trade tensions between the US and China.

The detente reached by President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping and their agreement to refrain from new tariffs pending a new round of negotiations has relieved some pressure on markets.

But the trade war is still overshadowing the global economic outlook.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 0.3 percent to 21,702.45 and South Korea’s Kospi rebounded, gaining 0.5 percent to 2,106.90. The S&P ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.6 percent to 6,722.80. The Shanghai Composite index gave up earlier gains, slipping 0.4 percent to 3,004.12. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng edged 0.1 percent lower to 28,846.87. India’s Sensex added 0.2 percent to 39,901.94.

Shares rose in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia in Malaysia.

On Wall Street, investors extended a rally through a holiday-shortened day, with the S&P 500 index gaining 0.8 percent to close at 2,995.82, the third record high close in as many days.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also reached a record, gaining 0.7 percent to close at 26,966. A rally in technology shares pushed the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite 0.8 percent higher to 8,170.23.

The market will be closed Thursday for the Independence Day holiday.

“Clearly the trade truce with China has been a catalyst for the market even though there remain uncertainties,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.

Technology companies, which tend to do a lot of business with China, have been particularly sensitive to the trade war between the US and China. The sector has been broadly higher this week.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters in Washington that he expected to announce a new round of negotiations soon. “They’re on the phone,” he said. “There’s lots of communication.”

“We’re not done yet, but we’re hopeful,” he said.

Every sector in the S&P 500 made gains on Wednesday, and the records are adding up to a yearlong rally. The S&P 500 is up more than 19 percent so far, while the Dow is up more than 15 percent. The Nasdaq is now up 23 percent for the year.

Investors will be watching for the US government’s closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday. The results of that report will likely be a factor in the Federal Reserve’s meeting later this month. The central bank has already said it is prepared to cut rates to shore up the US economy if trade disputes crimp growth.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.95 percent from 1.97 percent Tuesday.

In commodities trading, benchmark US crude oil lost 54 cents to $56.80 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose $1.09 on Wednesday to settle at $57.34 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 59 cents to $63.23 per barrel. It rose $1.42 overnight to close at $63.82 a barrel.

The dollar slipped to 107.80 Japanese yen from 107.83 yen on Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.1284 from $1.1279.


Category: FinanceAsia

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