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21-May2018

Asian markets trade firm as US-China trade tensions ease

Asian markets are trading mostly in green in early deals on Monday, after fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China receded following weekend developments. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the Trump administration would delay implementing tariffs on Chinese goods, and would put the trade war on hold while details of a trade deal are worked out. U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer later said the U.S. may still impose tariffs. Japanese Nikkei edged higher on better-than-expected Japanese trade surplus for the month of April. The Ministry of Finance that Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 625.977 billion yen in April, up 30.9 percent on year. The headline figure exceeded expectations for a surplus of 440.0 billion yen following the downwardly revised 797.0 billion yen surplus in March. Exports were up 7.8 percent on year to 6.822 trillion yen, missing forecasts for an increase of 8.7 percent but up from 2.1 percent in the previous month. Imports advanced an annual 5.9 percent to 6.196 trillion yen versus expectations for 9.8 percent following the 0.6 percent contraction a month earlier. Among the other Asian markets, Malaysia, South Korea, Shanghai, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong are trading higher. Bucking the trend, Indonesia is lower.

FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI gained 6.63 points or 0.36% to 1,861.13, KOSPI Index rose 8.42 points or 0.34% to 2,469.07, Shanghai Composite jumped 24.63 points or 0.77% to 3,217.93, Nikkei 225 increased 101.49 points or 0.44% to 23,031.85, Straits Times added 30.93 points or 0.87% to 3,560.20, Taiwan Weighted surged 138.22 points or 1.28% to 10,969.06 and Hang Seng up by 391.97 points or 1.26% to 31,439.88. 

On the flip side, Jakarta Composite down by 37.51 points or 0.65% to 5,745.80.



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