Asian markets mostly up

28 March, 2019 12:00 AM printer

HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose Wednesday following a strong lead from Wall Street but traders remained on edge about the global economy, while oil prices extended gains after Russia reassured over its intention to cut output.

Trading remained choppy across the region after a key US gauge raised a red flag warning of recession, adding to Federal Reserve worries about growth, uncertainty over Brexit and China’s stuttering economy.

While the optimism that has characterised most of 2019 has been shaken in recent weeks, a weak round of US data was unable to prevent a rebound in New York Tuesday, with all three main indexes ending higher, reports AFP.

And OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said the reaction to the so-called yield curve inversion — which was last seen ahead of the financial crisis a decade ago — had been “quickly consigned to history”.

He added that “the volte-face in sentiment suggests to me that despite all the noise, markets are flip-flopping on short-term data as we await the conclusion of the only real game in town: the US-China trade talks”.

Top-level negotiators will Thursday meet up again to try to hammer out an agreement with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer telling National Public Radio: “If there’s a great deal to be gotten, we’ll get it. If not, we’ll find another plan.”

There are hopes for some sort of deal for Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign off on as soon as next month.

The US president “is desperate for a deal”, Clark Packard at the R Street Institute think-tank said. “I don’t think he wants to go into 2020, running for re-election, without something here.”