Sun, Jun 09, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Asian stocks rise on tariff delay hopes

EUROZONE:The European Central Bank’s announcement that it would extend key interest rates heartened investors amid rising concerns about growth and inflation

AFP, HONG KONG

Asian markets rose on Friday, tracking gains on Wall Street following a report that the US could delay its plan to hit Mexico with tariffs.

The threats against Mexico have intensified anxiety among investors, who were already rattled by a seemingly endless US-China trade war.

However, US stocks on Thursday enjoyed a bounce after Bloomberg News reported that Washington could push back its plan to impose tariffs on Mexico tomorrow to allow more time for talks on illegal immigration.

Upbeat comments from Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard, who said that talks with US officials had yielded progress, added to the positive mood.

Export-dependent Mexico has been scrambling to stem the flow of Central American migrants to the US — deploying troops along its border with Guatemala, blocking a new caravan and freezing the bank accounts of suspected human traffickers — in a bid to appease Washington.

“The slightly better tone to the Mexico immigration negotiations has seen all US major equity indices end the day in positive territory,” National Australia Bank Ltd strategist Rodrigo Catril said in a commentary.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 on Friday closed up 110.67 points, or 0.5 percent, at 20,884.71, jumping 1.4 percent from a close of 20,601.19 on May 31.

Seoul’s KOSPI on Friday edged up 3.22 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,072.33, surging 1.5 percent from 2,041.74 a week earlier.

Sydney jumped 1 percent, while Singapore climbed 0.4 percent.

Taipei was closed on Friday — as were markets in Hong Kong and China — for the Dragon Boat Festival holida long weekend.

On Thursday, the TAIEX closed down 52.42 points, or 0.5 percent, at 10,409.20, plunging 0.9 percent from a close of 10,498.49 on May 31.

Amid mounting concern for the health of the global economy, central bankers have taken a dovish stance to head off a recession.

The European Central Bank on Thursday announced that it would extend its key interest rates for the eurozone — currently at historic lows — for at least the next six months.

The signals from the European Central Bank have brought relief to investors as the eurozone battles rising worries about growth and inflation.

The trade tensions have resulted in lowered overall growth forecasts, with no date set for negotiations to resolve the US-China spat.

“The US-China dispute will drag on, with the next round of talks unclear, with a chance of a meeting of the two leaders in Japan as part of the G20 at the end of June,” Oanda Corp senior market analyst Alfonso Esparza said, adding that the summit could yield “good news.”

“Then again, we have been here before, where an agreement was within reach, only to be snatched away at the last second,” he added.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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