Asian stocks climb as trade fears ease

6 April, 2018 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: Asian stocks bounced back from recent lows Thursday, taking their cue from a stronger session on Wall Street as investors judged recent trade war fears were overblown.

Tokyo led the gainers, climbing a solid 1.5 percent as the more positive market sentiment reduced demand for the safe-haven yen, pushing the currency down, reports AFP.

In Asian trade Thursday, the dollar fetched 106.90 yen, up from 106.82 yen in New York and 106.56 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

This normally boosts Tokyo stocks as a cheaper yen makes life better for exporters. Sony and Toyota were both among the gainers.

Seoul added 1.2 percent and Sydney gained 0.4 percent.

Hong Kong and Shanghai were closed for public holidays.

The more bullish outlook for stocks came on the heels of another see-saw session on Wall Street that saw equities rally impressively into the close.

Traders have been spooked by tit-for-tat accusations and measures between China and the United States that some fear could lead to a full-blown trade war between the world's top two economies.

China unveiled plans Wednesday to hit major US exports in retaliation for US tariff plans detailed the day before.

The Dow whipsawed nearly 800 points between its session low and peak before finishing with a gain of one percent at 24,264.30.

Analysts said the catalyst for the turnaround was comments by recently appointed White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, who suggested President Donald Trump's strident approach to China was a negotiating tactic to win concessions.

"I understand the stock market anxiety. I get that," Kudlow told Fox Business. "I think at the end of this whole process, the end of the rainbow, there's a pot of gold."

Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary: "The bullish sentiment has increased as the trade war between the US and China has entered into a phase of searching for common ground."

The more "risk-on" feeling among investors also propelled oil markets higher, with both Brent and the WTI up.