Hong Kong | Asian markets mostly rose Monday but investors were keeping a close eye on the China-US trade row after Donald Trump’s optimistic comments on a possible deal were offset by a war of words between his vice president and Xi Jinping.
The mood across the region was a little calmer at the start of the week, providing some much-needed support after the volatility of seven days ago, with oil stabilising and the Federal Reserve tempering fears about its plans for interest rate hikes. US markets provided a positive lead after Trump said Friday that Beijing had made overtures toward resolving their trade war, meaning he might hold off imposing another round of tariffs.
The president’s comments followed an indication from one of his top economics advisers that talks were under way ahead of a planned meeting at the G20 in Argentina at the end of this month.
However, hopes for an early agreement were jolted by a spat at the weekend APEC meeting between Mike Pence and Xi over China’s economic and regional ambitions, with the US vice-president mocking Beijing’s “constricting belt” and a “one-way road” initiative. Xi defended his scheme and hit out at Trump’s “America First” protectionist agenda, saying it was a “short-sighted approach” that was “doomed to failure”.
The stark differences between the two sides meant the APEC gathering ended without a final communique for the first time in its history. Still, investors in Asia were in a buying mood Monday as they picked up bargains.
In early trade Hong Kong was up 0.5 percent and Shanghai added 0.4 percent while Tokyo ended the morning 0.4 percent higher. Seoul gained 0.3 percent and Taipei added 0.1 percent with Manila jumping more than one percent.
However, Sydney dropped 0.6 percent, Singapore was off 0.4 percent and Wellington eased 0.2 percent. There was also some support from comments by top Fed officials last week hinting at concerns about the global economic outlook, indicating they see signs of slowing that could affect their plans for raising borrowing costs.
Expectations the US central bank would press ahead with a series of hikes well into next year, making debts more expensive for investors, have helped send global markets down this year. But while the prospect of slower rate hikes would be cause for celebration, Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA, sounded a note of caution.
“A Fed pause during a hiking cycle is a very strong ‘canary in a coal mine’ type of signal and could eventually lead a more profound correction lower in US equity markets if the US economy does sputter,” he said. Oil prices rose more than one percent, extending gains from the end of last week after major producer Saudi Arabia said it plans to cut output and called on other producers to follow suit.
“Hope is building on OPEC Plus (countries) to curb output as oil prices have entered into a bear market, falling over 20 percent from the peak in early October when Brent was at USD 86 per barrel,” Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.
However, the commodity remains under pressure from concerns about global demand and rising output as well as the China-US trade war. On currency markets the pound managed to hold off falling further as attention turns to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to win over enough members of her party to push through her Brexit deal.
Sensex rallies over 300 pts, Nifty reclaims 10,800 level
Mumbai | BSE benchmark Sensex Friday rallied over 300 points and NSE Nifty reclaimed the 10,800 mark on firm global cues, heavy foreign fund inflow and strengthening rupee.
Extending gains for the third session, the 30-share index was trading 306.16 points, or 0.86 percent, higher at 36,113.44. The index had ended 157.34 points, or 0.44 percent, higher at 35,807.28 in the previous session Thursday.
The broader Nifty too jumped 86.75 points, or 0.80 percent, to 10,866.55. The gains on Dalal Street were led by pharma, auto, realty and financial stocks. Top gainers include HDFC duo, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, L&T, ITC, HUL, SBI, TCS and Sun Pharma, rising up to 2 percent. On the other hand, Coal India, NTPC and Hero MotoCorp were the top losers, falling up to 1 percent.
According to Rahul Mishra, AVP (Derivatives), Emkay Global Financial Services, markets have been very volatile through the month; state election, global cues and crude oil price movement have kept the market busy.
However, market has seen good recovery since Nifty hit the month’s low on state election result day. Global cues provided good resistance, he said. The rupee, meanwhile, strengthened against the US dollar, up 30 paise at 70.05 a dollar from its previous close. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 1.63 percent at USD 53.59 per barrel.
On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,731.91 crore Wednesday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 663.00 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.47 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.12 per cent, Kospi gained 0.66 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.15 per cent in early trade.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index rose 260.37 points, or 1.14 percent, to 23,138.82 in its previous session Thursday.
Sensex, Nifty choppy amid weak global cues
Mumbai | The benchmark BSE Sensex opened on a volatile note early Monday on short-covering by investors amid weakness in Asian markets.
Buying activity in pharma, technology, banking auto and FMCG stocks, influenced market sentiment. The benchmark BSE Sensex was trading 28.05 points, 0.08 percent, lower at 35,714.02, after swinging over 200 points between highs and lows of 35,910.67 and 35,675.02, respectively.
The gauge had plunged 572.04 points on Friday. NSE Nifty was trading lower 25.25 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 10,728.75. Top losers were Hero MotoCorp, Vedanta, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finance, Asian Paint and HDFC Bank fell up to 3 per cent.
On the other hand, major gainers were Sun Pharma, Infosys, TCS, SBI, ITC, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, Maruti Suzuki, L&T, Bharti Airtel, M&M and Coal India, rising up to 2.12 per cent.
According to experts, global equities were choppy as a partial US government shutdown that entered was set to stretch through Christmas, after Congress adjourned for the weekend with no deal in sight to end an impasse over funding for President Donald Trump’s wall on the US-Mexico border.
Also, investors are nervous after reports emerged that Trump privately asked cabinet members if he had the authority to fire Fed Chair Jerome Powell after interest rates were increased and the stock market tanked.
Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 134.14 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 488.55 crore Friday, provisional data showed. Asian markets were trading lower following Friday’s losses on the Wall Street.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.29 percent. Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.49 per cent in early trade. Korea’s Kospi fell 0.38 per cent and Taiwan index slipped 0.20 percent. Japan’s markets are closed Monday. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.81 per cent lower Friday.
Rupee slips 37 paise to 70.07 against US dollar in early trade
Mumbai | The rupee fell by 37 paise to 70.07 against the US dollar in early trade Friday amid strengthening of the US dollar against some currencies overseas and foreign fund outflows.
Forex traders said besides increased demand of the US currency from importers, the dollar’s strength against some currencies overseas weighed on the rupee. The rupee opened lower at 69.93 against the dollar and dropped further to quote at 70.07, 37 paise down over its previous close.
On Thursday the domestic currency appreciated by 69 paise to close at 69.70 against the US dollar. Traders said a lower opening in domestic equity market, rising crude prices and foreign fund outflows put additional pressure on the local unit.
Globally, Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading 1.27 per cent higher at USD 55.04 per barrel. Foreign funds pulled out Rs 386.44 crore from the capital markets on a net basis, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 87.96 crore Thursday, provisional data showed.
The 30-share index fell 31.70 points, or 0.09 per cent, to trade at 36,399.97. In similar movement, the NSE Nifty was trading 12 points, or 0.11 per cent, lower at 10,939.70.
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