StockMarketNews.Today – Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index nudged higher, rising 0.1 per Cent following a 1.3 per cent fall in the previous session after US President Donald Trump began the process of imposing tariffs on a further $200bn of Chinese goods.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises index of major Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies rose 0.4 per cent after a 1.5 per cent fall on Wednesday. Mainland Chinese shares posted better gains with the CSI 300, comprising Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks, up 0.9 per cent.
Concerns over US-China trade remained in focus. Robert Carnell, ING’s chief economist and Asia-Pacific head of research, said the recent pattern of market wobbles on the latest trade war news followed by a recovery could only continue for so long.
“The movements towards protectionism are significant and lasting . . . [and they] will reduce trade volumes and economic gains from trade,” he said. “This really does not merit the occasional small temporary correction, followed by swift recovery. But instead, deeper and prolonged selling.”
Shares in China’s ZTE jumped 21 per cent in Hong Kong after the US commerce department said it had signed an escrow agreement with the telecoms maker as part of a previously announced deal with the Trump administration that would allow it access to the US market.
Japan’s Topix was up 0.3 per cent buoyed by a weaker yen and a 1 per cent gain for consumer non-cyclicals. That gain came despite a 2.6 per cent fall for the energy sector on a slide in oil prices on Wednesday.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6 per cent even as Australian mining and energy stocks took a hit from fall in commodity prices on Wednesday. The energy sector was down 1.4 per cent while basic materials fell 0.3 per cent.
The dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of peers, was hovering at a 10-day high after strengthening 0.6 per cent in the previous session. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury was flat at 2.853 per cent. The dollar was 0.2 per cent stronger versus the yen at ¥112.29, its highest in six months.
China’s currency weakened with the onshore renminbi, which trades within a 2 per cent band either side of a daily midpoint set by the country’s central bank, was down 0.4 per cent at Rmb6.7009 while the offshore renminbi was 0.1 per cent stronger at Rmb6.6991.
There was no respite for the Turkish lira, which weakened further to TL4.898, having earlier hit a fresh record low of TL4.9711 as investor angst over the country’s economy intensified. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday predicted a fall in interest rates.
The pound was 0.1 per cent weaker at $1.3193 while the euro was steady at $1.1674.
In commodities, Brent crude was 1.5 per cent higher at $74.49 a barrel following its biggest one-day decline in more than two years in the previous session. The global crude benchmark tumbled 6.9 per cent to settle at $73.40 a barrel on Wednesday, reflecting widespread weakness in commodity markets on US-China trade tensions. West Texas Intermediate was 0.3 per cent higher at $70.68 a barrel.