Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 August 2019

Asian stocks gain on hopes of progress in US-China trade talks

China has made proposals in trade talks with the US on a range of issues

Japan's Nikkei added 1 per cent on Friday. AP
Japan's Nikkei added 1 per cent on Friday. AP

Asian shares rose on Friday, led by a surge in Chinese equities, on hopes that Washington and Beijing are making progress in trade talks, while global bond yields moved higher after a prolonged slide on worries about the economic outlook.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.5 per cent while Japan's Nikkei, a stock market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, added 1 per cent. MSCI is a global provider of equity, fixed income and multi-asset portfolio analysis tools.

The Shanghai Composite Index climbed more than 2 per cent.

The mood in the markets was brighter after US officials said China has made proposals in trade talks with the US on a range of issues that go further than it has before, including on forced technology transfer.

US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday he had a “productive working dinner” the previous night in Beijing, kicking off a day of talks aimed at resolving the bitter trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

Gains on Wall Street also bolstered investor optimism. The S&P 500 on Thursday rose 0.36 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.34 per cent.

Despite recent turbulence, the S&P 500 - an American stock market index - has gained 12.3 per cent so far this quarter, which would mark its best quarterly performance since 2009, if sustained.

In the currency market, the euro stood steady at $1.1228 after having slid to a three-week low of $1.1214 as speculation grew that the European Central Bank will introduce a tiered deposit rate.

The Turkish lira tended its wounds after a 4 per cent plunge on Thursday. President Tayyip Erdogan blamed the currency's weakness on attacks by the West ahead of nationwide local elections on Sunday.

Updated: March 29, 2019 11:05 AM

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