Asian Shares Mostly Higher On Trade Talk Optimism

Asian stocks rose broadly on Tuesday after U.S. stocks rallied overnight amid positive news on the coronavirus front and signs of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement that the U.S. and China are seeing progress and are committed to taking steps to ensure the success of their Phase 1 trade deal.

Chinese shares closed lower, bucking the regional trend. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 12.06 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,373.58, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 65.36 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,486.22.

Japanese shares hit a fresh six-month high amid hopes for successful development of coronavirus vaccines and signs of a thaw in U.S.-China tensions.

The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 311.26 points, or 1.4 percent, to 23,296.77, its highest close since February 21. The broader Topix closed 1.1 percent higher at 1,625.23.

Airlines and steelmakers led the surge as a sharp drop in the number of daily coronavirus cases in Tokyo to below 100 spurred bets of a quicker economic recovery from the pandemic. Nippon Steel, Kobe Steel, Japan Airlines and ANA Holdings soared 4-7 percent.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group jumped 2.4 percent and Fast Retailing added 2.3 percent. Exporters Panasonic, Honda Motor and Canon gained 2-4 percent on a weaker yen.

Banks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial jumped around 3 percent each. Takeda Pharmaceuticals edged up slightly after it agreed to divest its unit Takeda Consumer Healthcare Co. Ltd. to Blackstone Group Inc. for 242 billion yen.

Australian markets extended gains from the previous session, though stocks ended off their day’s highs after the state of Victoria recorded 148 new cases of coronavirus overnight.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index ended up 31.80 points, or 0.5 percent, at 6,161.40, while the broader All Ordinaries Index rose 31.70 points, or half a percent, to 6,332.

The big four banks surged 2-4 percent. Tech stocks such as Appen and Widetech Global rose over 2 percent after the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite hit a record closing high overnight. Afterpau shares jumped 11.8 percent.

Oil & gas producer Oil Search rose 0.7 percent despite the company reporting an 85 percent plunge in first-half profit. Westfield shopping centres operator Scentre Group soared 4.5 percent after declaring its half-year results.

Gold miners Evolution and Newcrest Mining fell over 2 percent after safe-haven gold priced declined overnight.

Seoul stocks rose for a third consecutive session amid fresh hopes for a coronavirus vaccine and signs of a slowdown in new infection cases.

South Korea reported 280 new Covid-19 cases today, staying below 300 for the second consecutive day. The benchmark Kospi surged up 36.90 points, or 1.6 percent, to 2,366.73.

In economic news, South Korean consumer confidence improved for the fourth straight month in August, survey results from Bank of Korea showed. The consumer confidence index rose to 88.2 in August from 84.2 in July.

New Zealand shares rose for a third straight session on coronavirus treatment hopes. The benchmark NZX-50 Index gained 72.11 points, or 0.6 percent, to finish at 11,993.18. Tourism Holdings jumped 6.8 percent to pace the gainers.

U.S. stocks rose overnight as new coronavirus infections in the U.S. slowed and the FDA approved the use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for coronavirus patients. Investors also cheered reports that the Trump administration is considering fast-tracking an experimental vaccine from the U.K.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.4 percent to end at its highest level in six months, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 gained 1 percent to reach fresh record closing highs.

Source: Read Full Article