Asian shares rise on trade war relief as investors await data

August 1, 2018 - 9:29 AM
The People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. Stars and Stripes fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit, in Washington, D.C.,U.S., January 18, 2011. (REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang/File Photo)

SHANGHAI – Asian shares rose on Wednesday, following gains on Wall Street, as a report of attempts to renew talks between the United States and China eased trade war fears, but investors will be keeping a close eye on data due today.

Global markets inched higher on Tuesday, helped by a Bloomberg report that the U.S. and China were seeking to resume trade talks to defuse the battle over import tariffs.

“Solid U.S. data helped boost risk sentiment; however it was the news that Mnuchin and Liu He are speaking again that sparked a bigger risk rally,” ANZ analysts said in a note, referring to the U.S. Treasury secretary and the Chinese vice premier.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.43 percent to 25,415.19, the S&P 500 gained 0.49 percent to 2,816.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.55 percent to 7,671.79.

But a later Bloomberg report that the U.S. plans higher tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports underscored the volatility of U.S.-China trade relations.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1 percent in early trade, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index gained 0.5 percent. S&P E-mini futures were up a hair at 2818.

Tech shares across the region may get a boost after Apple Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for its quarterly results thanks to robust sales of its top-of-the-line iPhone X. . The company’s shares rose 3.4 percent to $196.80 in after-hours trade.

Investors will also be watching data from around the region, including manufacturing activity numbers from China, for indications of the outlook for the global economy.

Data from Australia showed a slowdown in manufacturing activity in July, with the Commonwealth Bank/Markit purchasing managers index at its lowest level in nearly two years.

But Australian shares still moved higher on Wednesday, gaining 0.2 percent, taking support from higher commodity prices.

Policy meetings of the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday and the Bank of England on Thursday will also keep some investors on the sidelines, although the U.S. central bank is expected to keep rates unchanged.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was at 2.9542 percent, compared with its U.S. close of 2.964 percent on Tuesday.

The two-year yield, which rises with traders’ expectations of higher Fed fund rates, touched 2.6654 percent compared with a U.S. close of 2.669 percent.

The dollar was flat against the yen at 111.81.

The euro was also flat on the day at $1.1689, while the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, gained 0.1 percent to 94.547.

U.S. crude dipped 0.6 percent at $68.33 a barrel. Brent crude gave up 0.3 percent to $73.99 per barrel.

Spot gold edged up less than 0.1 percent at $1,223.93 per ounce.

-Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Additional reporting by Laila Kearney in NEW YORK; editing by Richard Pullin