StockMarketNews.Today – Stocks were mostly higher in Asia trading on Friday after a solid lead from Wall Street, where equities regained their poise after the previous day’s steep fall as investors attempted to look beyond mounting trade tensions between the US and China. The S&P 500 index rose 0.9 per cent and closed at a five-month high, while the tech-focused Nasdaq climbed 1.7 per cent to finish at a record level.
Tokyo led the region higher as the Topix index climbed 1.2 per cent, bolstered by gains of around 1.5 per cent for technology and industrial stocks. Shares in Fast Retailing, which owns Uniqlo, jumped almost 6 per cent after the company’s third-quarter operating profit beat estimates.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 0.6 per cent with gains across all sectors except telecoms stocks, which dropped 0.5 per cent. Stocks in China were broadly higher as the CSI 300 index of equities listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.5 per cent.
Sydney-listed stocks broke ranks with the rest of the region, however, as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1 per cent, with a drop of 0.5 per cent by financials and the mining segment shedding 0.1 per cent.
Forex and fixed income
Foreign exchange markets were relatively calm, although the pound briefly dipped as much as 0.3 per cent after Mr Trump said UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit blueprint “will probably kill” any bilateral trade deal between the two allies.
Sterling pulled back to be down 0.2 per cent at $1.317 in Asia trading. The dollar index tracking the greenback against a basket of peers was up 0.1 per cent at 94.883. Japan’s yen was 0.1 per cent weaker at ¥112.64 per dollar.
Sovereign bonds in the region were little moved as yields, which move opposite to prices, on 10-year US Treasuries rose 1 basis point to 2.853 per cent.
Oil prices were down again after enjoying a partial recovery on Thursday from sharp falls earlier in the week amid trade war worries. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was off 0.5 per cent at $74.06 a barrel. US marker West Texas Intermediate fell 0.1 per cent to $70.26.
Gold was flat at $1,246.43 per ounce.