Asian markets rally as blockbuster quarter draws to close

30th March, 2019 10:23:15 printer

HONG KONG: Asian markets rose Friday, putting them on course to end the week on a positive note with investors looking past a downgrade of US growth to focus on the next round of top-level China-US trade talks.

While the past five days have been dogged by fears over the outlook for the global economy, equities from Sydney to Wall Street have enjoyed a stellar start to 2019 fuelled mostly by hopes of a tariffs deal and the prospect of lower borrowing costs, reports AFP.

A slight pick-up in the key US 10-year Treasury yield provided some sense of stability, though dealers remain on edge over the future, with data showing the US economy grew at a much slower pace than initially thought in October-December.

Attention is on Beijing where top Chinese and US negotiators were wrapping up the latest batch of talks aimed at ending their long-running trade row that has dragged on the world economy.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the negotiations were not “time-dependent” and could be extended, adding they could take weeks or months to get a final deal.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon that he had “concluded constructive trade talks in Beijing”. The talks are to continue in Washington next week.

Observers have remained upbeat on the negotiations, with China having made a number of concessions on key issues including intellectual property, while US President Donald Trump has often said he is confident.

“Sentiment was largely positive after reports that the trade negotiations between the US and China were improving,” said David Madden, a market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Shanghai surged 3.2 percent and Tokyo ended 0.8 percent higher, while Hong Kong added one percent.

Seoul and Singapore each added 0.6 percent, Sydney put on 0.1 percent and Wellington gained 0.8 percent. Taipei, Mumbai and Manila were also sharply higher.