Asia report: Markets rise on US-China trade deal hopes
Markets in Asia were higher across the board on Tuesday, with technology plays receiving a boost, and investors maintaining a close eye on trade relations between Washington and Beijing.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was ahead 2.61% at 20,864.21, as the yen weakened 0.14% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 110.53.
Chipmaker Renesas Electronics was the winner of the day in Tokyo, rocketing ahead 16.26%, while fashion group Fast Retailing managed gains of 3.01%.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.68% at 2,671.89, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite improved 1.2% to 1,364.15.
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.45% to 2,190.47, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong added 0.1% to settle at 28,171.33.
The blue-chip technology stocks were among the leaders in Seoul, with LG Electronics up 3.75%, Samsung Electronics ahead 2.33%, and SK Hynix rising 2.43%.
The positive sentiment in Asia was in contrast to a lukewarm session on Wall Street overnight, with investors continuing to mull the possible outcomes of trade talks between the US and China later in the week.
Most market watchers seemed to be of the opinion that some sort of agreement would be struck, resulting in no further tariffs being slapped on goods by either country.
The two nations are working towards a March deadline, when the US has said it will add more punitive charges to Chinese goods.
Oil prices were higher as the region got home from work, with Brent crude last up 1.84% at $62.66 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate rising 1.67% to $53.30.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 tacked on 0.3% to close at 6,079.10, with the energy subindex growing 1.22%.
Among the oil majors in Sydney, Beach Energy was 2.11% higher, and Woodside Petroleum added 0.58%.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 was 0.8% higher at 9,280.77, led higher by energy generator and retailer Mercury, which rose 2.7%.
The possibility of an interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand gave a boost to utility firms, with Mercury being joined by fellow energy firms Meridian Energy and Genesis Energy at the right end of the benchmark.
Both of the down under dollars were stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.35% at AUD 1.4112, and the Kiwi advancing 0.01% to NZD 1.4852.