Asia shares reap big gains following rebound on Wall Street
BANGKOK (AP) — Asian shares advanced Friday after a strong finish on Wall Street, helped by news of possible progress on resolving trade tensions between China and the U.S.
KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 2.4 percent to 26,026.18 and the Shanghai Composite index added 1.2 percent to 2,637.65. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.7 percent to 21,842.77 while South Korea’s Kospi climbed 2.2 percent to 2,069.00. The S&P ASX/200 in Australia slipped 0.5 percent to 5,813.90. Shares fell in Taiwan but fell in India and Southeast Asia.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks continued their gradual rebound from a plunge that lasted almost the entire month of October, and many of the biggest gains Thursday came from stocks that struggled badly last month like chipmakers and other technology companies and smaller, domestically-focused companies. The S&P 500 index added 1.1 percent to 2,740.37. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also picked up 1.1 percent, to 25,380.74. The Nasdaq composite climbed 1.8 percent to 7,434.06 and the Russell 2000 index jumped 2.2 percent, to 1,544.98.
CHINA-US TRADE: U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping and that the two countries were making some progress in trade negotiations. He didn’t give details, but there have been few signs of movement in the trade dispute in recent months, and investors are getting nervous about the prospect of huge tariff increases. Meanwhile, Chinese state media said Xi has promised tax cuts and other help to China’s entrepreneurs in a renewed effort to revive the cooling, state-dominated economy.
ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist for Charles Schwab, said one reason for the recent market rout was that companies started to give more details about how much the tariffs could hurt them. “Companies are saying ‘this is biting and here’s how,’” she said. “They’re starting to talk about profit margins and whether they’re going to pass the expenses onto consumers.”
CURRENCIES: The pound fell back after a rally based on a report that that Britain and the European Union had reached a deal to give U.K. financial services companies access to the bloc after Brexit. The article by The Times cited anonymous sources, and other reports suggested a deal had not yet been finalized. The British pound slipped to $1.2990 from $1.3004. The dollar edged up to 112.73 yen from 112.71 yen and the euro slipped to $1.1402 from $1.1408.
ENERGY: Oil prices continued to weaken after the Department of Energy said U.S. crude stockpiles increased for the sixth straight week. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 24 cents to $63.45 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slumped 2.5 percent to $63.69 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 26 cents to $72.63 per barrel. It shed 2.9 percent Thursday to $72.89 a barrel in London.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed. He can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP