Asian stocks are rallying on hopes there'll be no trade war

Photo: iStock
  • Most Asian stock markets are rallying, mirroring a similar move on Wall Street on Monday.
  • The gains are being driven by speculation that proposed US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports may be watered down or not implemented all together.
  • US President Donald Trump said overnight that “we’re not backing down”.

After watching their counterparts in Europe and the US hoover stocks with their ears pinned back, the same enthusiasm is now being seen across Asia.

With the exception of China’s Shanghai Composite Index, all major markets are sitting in the black, propelled by hope, rather than certainty, that higher trade tariffs on US imports of steel and aluminium products won’t lead to a escalating in global trade tensions.

The scoreboard below tells the story as at 1.20pm in Sydney.

Australia ASX 200 5966.30 , 1.21%
NZ NZX 50 8330.15 , 0.61%
Japan TOPIX 1723.89 , 1.72%
Shanghai Comp 3253.79 , -0.10%
Shenzhen Comp 1835.72 , 0.27%
HK Hang Seng 30274.21 , 1.30%
Sth Korea KOSPI 2408.80 , 1.42%
Sinagpore STI 3476.06 , 1.09%
Taiwan TAIEX 10748.68 , 0.99%
Philippines PSI 8394.04 , 0.09%
Indonesia JKSE 6572.80 , 0.34%
Malaysia KLCI Index 1847.84 , 0.28%
S&P 500 Futures 2719.75 , 0.05%

The move follows a strong rebound in European and US stocks on Monday, boosted by a push back from Republican lawmakers to Trump’s proposed trade tariffs.

House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement on Monday asking Trump not to go forward with the new trade measures.

“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” the statement said. “The new tax-reform law has boosted the economy, and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.”

The announcement coincided with a huge reversal on Wall Street, seeing the Dow trade up as much as 400 points at one stage during the session.

That was despite Trump himself suggesting that he was not going to back down on the introduction of new tariffs.

“No, we’re not backing down,” Trump said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office. “We had a very bad deal with Mexico, we had a very bad deal with NAFTA.”

Despite that rebuttal, that’s not the statement stock investors across Asia are focusing on at the moment.

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