Asian stock markets edged higher to hit more than 14-week highs. Investors’ appetite for riskier assets returned on the progress of the trade discussions and positive US jobs report.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose by 1.08% to $530.86, reaching its highest level since July 24 and putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain since October 11.
The index was last trading up by 1.12% to $530.83.
Japan’s markets paused operations for its Culture Day holiday.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed by 1.75% to HK$27,576.00, while Seoul’s KOSPI index advanced by 1.43% to ₩2,130.24.
Shares in mainland China showed optimism, as well. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.58% to CN¥2,975.49, and the blue-chip CSI 300 index added 0.65% to CN¥3,978.12.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also surged by 0.27% to A$6,686.90.
Asian Stock Markets Backed by US-China Trade Talks
Equities in Asia displayed strength, after Washington and Beijing both announced progress in trade negotiations. US officials raised hopes for an agreement to come out this month.
However, analysts at the National Australia Bank cautioned that the contentious issues on whether the US will cancel the planned December tariffs and remove some of the current tariffs in line with China’s demands remain unknown.
The trade deal could easily collapse if the issue is not resolved, according to the analysts.
The planned 15% tariff on Chinese products, including laptops, toys, and electronics, is set to be employed on December 15.
Economic adviser of the White House Larry Kudlow has stated that the choice of whether to cancel the tariffs on China would be US President Donald Trump’s decision.
Positive US Employment Rate
The US jobs data was also a contributing factor to Asian markets’ enthusiasm. The Labor Department reported encouraging numbers on non-farm payrolls last week.
Asia-Pacific Chief Economist of ING Singapore Rob Carnell said some market confidence was probably fine following the positive data.
Everybody had been looking for a much worse number, and it did not materialize. As a result, some bounce from that was entirely plausible and reasonable, Carnell stated.
The US labor market saw employment grow by 128,000 in October, beating expectations of 85,000. Also, it shrugged off the impact of an extended strike against General Motors Co.
The data also supported remarks by the Federal Reserve.
The Central Bank stated in the previous week that the US economy is in a good place after the three rate cuts this year.
Still, Carnell sees a murky outlook with continued uncertainty over trade discussions and with policy easing by global central banks being less likely.
It is difficult to see why market participants would not be at least thinking, there is a good profit-taking opportunity right now and positioning for a slightly worse outcome, he added.