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Asian Shares Mostly Higher As U.S. Tariffs On China Take Effect

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Asian stocks rebounded from early losses to close higher on Friday as investors responded with calm to the U.S. tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports that took effect after midnight Thursday. China said it is "forced to make a necessary counterattack" in equal measure.

Chinese shares reversed early losses to close higher, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rising 12.60 points or 0.5 percent to 2,746.48. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 133.53 points or 0.5 percent to 28,315.62.

Japanese shares rose for the first time this week as China led a rebound in regional markets. The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 241.15 points or 1.1 percent to 21,788.14, snapping a four-day losing streak as traders covered their short positions. The broader Topix Index closed 0.9 percent higher at 1,691.54.

Automakers Toyota Motor and Honda Motor rose more than 1 percent while technology stocks such as Advantest and TDK Corp jumped 4-5 percent. Drugmaker Eisai Co soared 19.5 percent after its Alzheimer's drug succeeded in a mid-stage trial.

In economic news, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that the average of monthly spending in Japan was down 1.4 percent year-on-year in May, beating forecasts for a fall of 1.5 percent.

Australian stocks rallied as investors lapped up mining stocks after recent heavy losses. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 56.80 points or 0.9 percent to 6,272.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 52.80 points or 0.84 percent at 6,355.70.

Mining giant BHP Billiton gained 0.9 percent, Rio Tinto rose 0.7 percent and smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group climbed 1.4 percent. Financials also turned higher, with the big four banks rising 1-2 percent despite regulatory scrutiny about their pension products.

Similarly, Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Oil Search and Origin Energy rallied 1-3 percent despite crude oil prices falling overnight.

On the economic front, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group showed that the construction sector in Australia continued to expand in June, albeit at a much slower pace.

Seoul stocks closed higher on institutional buying as the U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods came into effect. The benchmark Kospi gained 0.7 percent to finish at 2,272.87, led by automakers and steel companies. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics fell 2.3 percent.

New Zealand shares fluctuated before closing at a record high, led by healthcare stocks. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 21.19 points or 0.23 percent to 9,084.04.

The Taiwan Weighted ended little changed after data showed the country's consumer price inflation eased at a faster-than-expected pace in June.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was down half a percent, Malaysia's KLSE Composite index was losing 1.1 percent and Singapore's Straits Times index was down as much as 2.3 percent while India's Sensex was rising 0.4 percent.

Overnight, U.S. stocks finished broadly higher, led by gains in technology and healthcare companies as reports on services sector activity and private sector employment painted a positive picture of the economy.

The Dow rose 0.8 percent as markets reopened after the Independence Day holiday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.1 percent and the S&P 500 advanced 0.9 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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