Monday, 9 July 2018

  • Asian stocks gained on Monday, with Japan leading the move higher in early trade.
  • China and the U.S. exchanged tariffs on Friday, with markets keeping an eye on potential elevation in trade tensions.
  • The move higher in regional markets came on the back of stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data.

Asian shares rose on Monday, taking cues from Wall Street’s advance following the release of strong employment data for the month of June. Meanwhile, investors continued to keep an eye on trade after the U.S. and China exchanged tariffs last week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.27 percent, the Kospi saw slimmer gains in South Korea, rising by 0.58 percent in the morning. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.24 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 1.74 percent, with similar gains seen on the mainland. The Shanghai composite rose 1.66 percent and the smaller Shenzhen composite surged 1.57 percent.

The improvement in sentiment in the session came after Friday’s developments on the trade front when U.S. tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods took effect, ramping up the country’s ongoing trade spat with China.

China followed up by promptly imposing duties of its own on the same value of U.S. products. China’s Ministry of Commerce said it had no choice but to respond to the U.S. after the latter “launched the largest trade war in economic history.”

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that an additional $16 billion of Chinese goods would be subject to tariffs in two weeks, and that he was considering further slapping duties on an additional $500 billion in Chinese products.

Monday’s gains also came on the back of an advance in U.S. stocks on Friday as better-than-expected jobs data stateside overshadowed tariffs kicking in. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.41 percent, or 99.74 points, to close at 24,456.48, the S&P 500 gained 0.85 percent to end at 2,759.82 and the Nasdaq composite surged 1.34 percent to finish at 7,688.39.

The U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in June, topping the 195,000 forecast in a Reuters poll. Wage growth, however, slightly missed expectations.

The dollar was broadly softer, with the dollar index at 93.892 compared to levels above the 94 level last week. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the Yuan reference rate at 6.6393 vs. Friday’s fix of 6.6336.

Source : Reuters

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