Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 November 2019

Asian shares mixed amid concern about US-China trade

Sentiment got a lift when Beijing announced a future roll out of a plan to boost disposable income

Asian shares were mixed on Friday as turbulence continued on global markets amid ongoing worries about US-China trade war. AP
Asian shares were mixed on Friday as turbulence continued on global markets amid ongoing worries about US-China trade war. AP

Asian shares were mixed on Friday as turbulence continued on global markets amid ongoing worries about US-China trade conflict.

Japan's benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nikkei 225, recouped early losses to be up 0.3 per cent in the morning trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched down nearly 0.1 per cent, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.8 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.8 per cent whereas the Shanghai Composite gained 0.7 per cent.

Market sentiments got a lift when China's state planner said Beijing would roll out a plan to boost disposable income, though details were lacking.

On Wall Street on Thursday, stock indexes were flipping between gains and losses until a late-day bounce gave the market a modest gain. Worries about a possible recession collided with hopes that the strongest part of the US economy - shoppers spending at stores and online - can keep going.

The major US stock indexes spent much of the day reacting to big moves in US government bond yields, which fell sharply in the early going, fluctuated for much of the day, and then recovered some of their decline by mid-afternoon.

US government bonds have been among the loudest and earliest to cry out warnings about the economy.

The S&P 500 - the stock market index that measures the performance of 500 large companies listed in the US - rose 0.2 per cent. The benchmark index swung between a 0.6 per cent gain and 0.5 per cent loss. A day earlier, it plunged 2.9 per cent. The Nasdaq composite dropped 7.32 points, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 5.87 points.

Markets around the world have jerked up and down for weeks. Prices for everything from stocks to gold to oil have been heaving as investors flail from one moment of uncertainty around President Donald Trump's trade war to another around what central banks will do with interest rates.

Mr Trump again defended his trade war and said a resolution with China has “got to be a deal, frankly, on our terms”.

After being hopeful earlier this year that a trade agreement may be imminent between the world's two largest economies, investors are increasingly digging in for the tensions to drag on for years.

“Nonetheless, the wider point is that with US-China uncertainties still elevated, we are acutely aware that signs of risk aversion being reined in must not be mistaken for risk eliminated,” said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

Updated: August 16, 2019 10:41 AM

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