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Asia stocks gain as US-China trade disputes ease

Asia stocks gain as US-China trade disputes ease

by Himanshu Singh May 14, 2018 at 01:00

Asian stocks rose on Monday in morning session on signs the US and China were toning down their trade war rhetoric and as investors wagered on a slower pace of US interest rate hikes.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 hovered just above the flat line while the broader Topix edged up by 0.06%. Real estate stocks surged 2.67% in morning trade, while automakers, precision machinery and mining stocks traded lower.

In South Korea, the Kospi erased early gains to slip 0.13%, with heavyweight Samsung Electronics declining 1.75% and weighing on the index.

Other technology sector stocks fared better, with LG Electronics up 1.43%, and financials and steelmakers mostly notching gains.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.09% as gains in the energy and materials sectors were offset by declines in the heavily weighted financial sector.

Malaysian stocks tumbled as markets there reopened for trade after a long weekend following the stunning victory of Mahathir Mohamad in the country’s general elections last week.

Investor sentiment was bolstered after US President Donald Trump pledged to help Chinese telecom company ZTE Corp to “get back into business, fast”, news that JP Morgan analysts said was “a significant positive.”

Separately, US officials are preparing for talks in Washington with China’s top trade official Liu He to resolve an escalating trade dispute.

Investors will also be eyeing Malaysia’s financial markets, which open after a two-day holiday following the stunning victory of Mahathir Mohamad in the country’s general elections last week.

In corporate news, Commonwealth Bank of Australia's shares dipped 0.27% after chief financial officer, Rob Jesudason resigned with immediate effect. Alan Docherty took on the position of Acting CFO on Monday.

In currencies, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, last stood at 92.418, after trading as high as the 93.4 handle last week. Against the yen, the dollar traded at 109.23.

 

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