In a week dominated by trade battles and global monetary policy, European stock markets were higher in afternoon deals following strong gains for Tokyo and Hong Kong — and after rises yesterday in New York.
In foreign exchange today, the dollar fell against the euro, pound and yen, while Turkey’s lira held up after a shock hike in the country’s interest rate and a dip in US inflation the day before.
After a tumultuous start to the month, investors finally had something to smile about after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin yesterday invited Chinese officials for fresh talks to avert an all-out trade war.
The news provided some much-needed support, which was improved on later in the day with data showing US consumer price inflation slid in August, easing pressure on the Federal Reserve to tighten borrowing costs. This though weighed on the dollar.
It gave also some breathing space to emerging markets, which have been battered in recent weeks by fears of contagion from crises in Turkey, Argentina and South Africa.
“Hope springs eternal for emerging markets anytime the US dollar weakens,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at Oanda trading group.
But Hannah Anderson, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management, warned against being too hopeful, with the US still considering imposing tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports.
“Markets need to separate trade rhetoric and trade actions,” she said.
“While heated rhetoric may contribute to the shifting investor expectations we have seen this week, there has been no fundamental change in the state of the US-China trade dispute,” Anderson added.
The Chinese economy meanwhile revealed fresh signs of softness Friday, with data showing the pace of investment slowing to record lows, while retail spending and industrial production stabilised.
Beijing faces a delicate balancing act, aiming to shift its growth driver away from investment and exports towards personal consumption, while at the same time battling a mountain of debt.
Key figures around 1130 GMT
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.3 per cent at 7,305.76 points
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.3 per cent at 12,087.85
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.3 per cent at 5,346.32
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 per cent at 3,339.79
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.2 per cent at 23,094.67 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.0 per cent at 27,286.41 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.2 per cent at 2,681.64 (close)
New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.6 per cent at 26,145.99 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at US$1.1700 from US$1.1689 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: UP at US$1.3122 from US$1.3105
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 111.85 yen from 111.94 yen
Oil – Brent Crude: UP 13 cents at US$78.31 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 37 cents at US$68.96 per barrel
Source: The Malay Mail Online