Asian shares extend rebound on trade hopes

Asian shares extend rebound on trade hopes Hideyuki Sano, Reuters January 8, 2019 3:32am

Asian shares have risen for the third straight session as investors bet that Washington and Beijing are inching towards a trade deal and the US Federal Reserve would halt its tightening if economic growth slows further.

Japan's Nikkei rose 1.0 per cent while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked up 0.1 per cent.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent on Monday, following a 3.4 per cent surge on Friday, with and Netflix leading the rally.

Gains in tech names allayed some fears, sparked by Apple's sales warnings last week, that the high-flying sector is starting to get hurt by the Sino-US trade war.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted that Beijing and Washington could reach a trade deal that "we can live with" as dozens of officials from the world's two largest economies resumed talks in a bid to end their trade dispute.

China's Foreign Ministry said Beijing had the "good faith" to work with the US to resolve trade frictions, but many analysts doubt the two sides can reach a comprehensive agreement on all of the divisive issues before a March deadline.

Investors also continued to buy battered stocks in response to strong US job data last week and comments by US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that he was aware of the risks and would be patient and flexible in policy decisions this year.

Powell's comments have eased market concerns that the US central bank might ignore signs of an economic slowdown and stick to its script of two rate hikes this year.

"Various concerns markets had earlier are receding for now. Still, there's no denying that US earning momentum is slowing," said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.

"Ultimately we need to see whether upcoming earnings reports can dispel market concerns."

The US dollar is losing momentum as investors wind back expectations of rate hikes and a future widening in its yield advantage. But conditions in most other developed economies aren't much to write home about, either, potentially limiting the upside for other major currencies.

The euro traded at $US1.1474, near Wednesday's two-month high of $US1.1497.

British and European officials are discussing the possibility of extending Britain's formal notice to withdraw from the European Union amid fears a Brexit deal will not be approved by March 29, UK's Daily Telegraph reported, citing unidentified sources.

Emerging market currencies benefited even more, with MSCI emerging market currency index rising 0.9 per cent in the last two days to levels last seen in late July.

The safe-haven yen has erased almost all of its sharp losses made in a flash crash fall last week and last stood at 108.68 to the US dollar.

The 10-year US Treasuries yield bounced back to 2.698 per cent, from Friday's low of 2.543 per cent, a trough last seen almost a year ago. Still, that is more than 50 basis points below its October peak of 3.261 per cent.

Oil prices also rebounded further from 1-1/2-year lows reached in December, drawing support from a Wall Street Journal report that Saudi Arabia is planning to cut crude exports to around 7.1 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of January.

OPEC and its allies are trying to rein in a surge in global supply, driven mostly by the United States, where production surpassed 11 million bpd in 2018. Record high crude oil production has pushed up US inventories.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.5 per cent to $US48.76 a barrel. Originally published as Asian shares extend rebound on trade hopes Our Privacy Policy includes important information about our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information (including to provide you with targeted advertising based on your online activities). It explains that if you do not provide us with information we have requested from you, we may not be able to provide you with the goods and services you require. It also explains how you can access or seek correction of your personal information, how you can complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles and how we will deal with a complaint of that nature. heraldsun social_email GET OUR DAILY WRAP AND BREAKING NEWS ALERTS %%b%%Thank you!%%/b%% Add the following email to your contacts folder to ensure that this newsletter doesn't end up in your spam folder. Learn more about our Privacy Policy _questionmark