Asian markets mixed as traders prepare for crucial week

28th January, 2019 10:24:18 printer

HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed Monday as investors look ahead to a week chock-full of crucial events, including high-level trade talks between China and the United States.

Hopes that a deal can be struck between the world’s top two economies have helped fuel a rally this month in global equities, which had been hammered in December, reports AFP.

While there have been conflicting reports on the likelihood of an agreement to end the trade war, analysts say it is in the interests of both sides to reach a deal, with China’s economy stuttering and President Donald Trump gearing up for his re-election campaign.

“Although coming to an agreement is still tricky, both sides have little incentive to escalate tensions,” said Tai Hui, chief market strategist for Asia-Pacific at JP Morgan Asset Management.

“Markets will at least expect an extension of the truce in tariff increases beyond early March, while more difficult issues are still being worked on by both sides.”

As well as the Wednesday-Thursday meeting in Washington, dealers also have in their sights the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, where the central bank’s statement will be pored over for an idea about its interest rate plans.

Also coming up is the release of US jobs and economic growth data, Chinese

manufacturing activity results, another vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s

Brexit deal and a number of big-name earnings, including from Apple, Samsung,

Facebook and Alibaba.

After starting the day on a positive note regional markets went south as investors contemplate what the week has in store, while China released another batch of disappointing data showing profits at the country’s industrial firms fell in December.