Asian shares were slightly higher on Friday
Asian shares were slightly higher on Friday on expectations global central banks will soon embark on an easing cycle in the face of international trade frictions and fears of a world recession.
Those concerns blunted some of the optimism, with liquidity light during Asian trading as China and Hong Kong markets were shut for a public holiday.
“Central banks are waiting for one man to act; Donald Trump,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne-based broker Pepperstone, as markets fretted over the U.S. president’s tariff threats on a number of countries including China and Mexico.
“July will be a big month of central bank easing,” he added. “They hold a wait-and-see attitude and will be nimble in accordance with the developments.”
- Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.5% higher, Australia’s benchmark index climbed 0.8% while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4%.
- In early European trades, the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 0.3%, German DAX futures gained 0.4 while FTSE futures rose 0.2%.
- E-Minis futures for the S&P500 were last up 0.2%, pointing to a positive opening for U.S. markets.
- In currencies, the dollar was steady on the yen at 108.45 and was off its recent five-month low of 107.80.
- Euro was traded at $1.1267.
- Oil prices regained a little ground after a rough week but was still vulnerable to worries about global demand and oversupply.
- Brent crude futures bounced 92 cents to $62.59, but were still down nearly 3% for the week so far, while U.S. crude firmed 79 cents at $53.38 a barrel.
- Two-year Treasury yields were near their lowest since December 2017 at 1.88%, having fallen 28 basis points in just two weeks.