Sun, May 05, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Asian markets mixed on obstacles to US-China deal

Agencies

Benchmarks in Asia were mixed with thin trading on Friday after a discouraging day on Wall Street on Thursday. News reports highlighting obstacles in the way of US-China trade deal also weighed on sentiment.

Markets in Japan and China were closed.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index advanced 0.2 percent to 162.93, up 0.5 percent from last week’s 162.14.

Hong Kong shares ended higher on Friday, after heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC’s earnings beat estimates, lifting sentiment on an otherwise quiet day.

At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 0.5 percent at 30,081.55. The benchmark climbed 1.6 percent for the week.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.2 percent. The index gained 0.6 percent this week.

The sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking the financial sector ended 0.8 percent higher, the property sector sub-index rose 0.5 percent, while energy shares dipped 0.7 percent and the IT sector lost 0.3 percent.

HSBC beat forecasts with a 31 percent rise in first-quarter profit, bolstered by a surge in income from its core Asian business and lower costs that outweighed a poor performance from investment banking.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 91.81 points, or 0.83 percent, at 11,096.30, up 1.3 percent from last week’s 10,952.47.

South Korea’s KOSPI on Friday dropped 0.7 percent to 2,196.32.

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was less than 0.1 percent lower at 6,335.80.

US Web site Politico, citing a representative of a lobbying group for US businesses, reported that the deal might not see China putting a commitment to cut back on state subsidies in writing.

Chinese state-run tabloid the Global Times said that there were fewer details from recent negotiations in Beijing.

However, there was an overall consensus that both countries would ink a deal at some point.

On Thursday, losses by energy, technology and communications stocks handed Wall Street its second straight loss.

“Asia is unlikely to look past Wall Street’s performance overnight for initial direction,” Oanda Corp’s Jeffrey Halley said in a commentary.

“And with post-Fed position unwinding in full swing, non-farm payrolls tonight and the upcoming weekend, traders in Asia could decide discretion is the better part of valor and lighten long equity positions as well,” he added.

Additional reporting by CNA

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