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7 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Asian markets mostly higher as Shanghai extends rally

AFP, Hong Kong
Asian markets mostly higher as Shanghai extends rally
Shanghai rally led gains across most Asian markets yesterday as Chinese investors grow increasingly optimistic over trade talks with the US. AFP FILE PHOTO

A Shanghai rally led gains across most Asian markets yesterday as Chinese investors grow increasingly optimistic over trade talks with the US.

With expectations that Washington and Beijing will eventually strike a tariffs deal already baked into equity prices, analysts say officials will need to provide some clarity on progress to give markets another step up.

There are also warnings that with optimism so high, there could be a lot of disappointment if the final deal does not live up to the hype, or the two sides fail to even reach an agreement.

The talk is that high-level negotiations are ongoing in order to pave the way for a signing ceremony between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping later this month.

“A mid-March meeting ... remains the expected next step, but if trade representatives are unable to agree on the final terms of implementation and enforcement measures, we could see the trade truce rally fade,” said OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya.

Still, after a slow start Shanghai closed 1.6 per cent higher to build on Tuesday’s rally that came on the back of China’s decision to slash taxes and ramp up spending, as leaders look to pep up the stuttering economy.

Mainland Chinese markets are up more than 20 per cent this year thanks to trade hopes and following a series of monetary easing measures to kickstart economic growth, which hit its slowest pace in three decades in 2018.

Hong Kong rose 0.3 per cent, while Sydney finished 0.8 per cent higher after data showed Australia’s economy virtually ground to a halt in October-December owing to tepid household spending and a weakening housing market.

The news has fuelled speculation the central bank will have to cut already record-low borrowing costs, cheering equity markets but sending the Australian dollar tumbling about 0.6 per cent against the greenback.

Elsewhere, Manila jumped 1.4 per cent, Mumbai added 0.4 per cent and Taipei gained 0.5 per cent, while Wellington edged up 0.2 per cent.

However, Tokyo ended down 0.6 per cent, Singapore was off 0.1 per cent and Seoul fell 0.2 per cent.

On currency markets the pound struggled to recover from losses against the

greenback after talks between British and EU negotiators failed to hammer out a revised Brexit deal that

Prime Minister Theresa

May can pass through

parliament.

However, observers are optimistic an agreement can be reached and Britain will not leave the bloc without a deal.

“Any deal that is agreed has a higher chance of getting voted through than was the case in January when the deal was shot down by parliament,” said James Hughes, chief market analyst at AxiTrader.

“Brexiteers fearful of Brexit being reversed could be more prone to back May, provided she can get a legal concession” on customs on the Northern Irish border.

In early trade London was flat, while Paris and Frankfurt each dipped 0.2 per cent.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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