Asia markets rally on virus hopes

2 June, 2020 12:00 AM printer

HONG KONG: Hong Kong led an Asia-wide market rally Monday as investors breathed a sigh of relief after Donald Trump fell short of imposing strict measures against China, while a further easing of virus lockdowns continued to provide support.

However, violent anti-racism protests across the US have fuelled worries of a pick-up in COVID-19 infections and more pain for the world’s top economy, just as it prepares to ease restrictions, reports AFP.

Dealers had sold up ahead of a news conference Trump called regarding China’s plan for a new security law in Hong Kong but his actions were not as severe as feared.

The president said he would strip several of the city’s special privileges and bar some Chinese students from US universities, and he ordered probes into Chinese companies listed on US financial markets.

“Importantly… there were no new tariffs or broad sanctions, with the phase one trade deal intact, with the outcome less feared,” said National Australia Bank’s Tapas Strickland.

“Some are drawing the link between President Trump’s need for agricultural buys to shore up the Midwest ahead of the November presidential elections.”

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped more than three percent, having spiralled last month after China proposed the new law, which some fear could lead to the end of the city as a key financial hub.