Asian stocks climb after volatile trade on U.S.-China trade confusion

Asian stocks bounced on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S.-China trade pact was “fully intact”, clarifying earlier confusing statements from the White House over the fate of the deal.

Jitters emerged early in the Asian day after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said the trade deal with China was “over”, linking the breakdown in part to Washington’s anger over Beijing not sounding the alarm earlier about the coronavirus outbreak.

The statement prompted a selloff across equities markets but sentiment quickly recovered when Navarro, an outspoken critic of China, said his remarks had been taken out of context.

Trump also soothed nerves when he tweeted: “China trade deal is fully intact. Hopefully they will continue to live up to the terms of the agreement.”

Asian Stocks

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan rose 0.72% to 517.1 points after earlier going as low as 509.9.
  • Chinese shares regained lost ground too, with the blue-chip index last up 0.38%.
  • In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose about 1% in early afternoon trade.
  • South Korea’s KOSPI index added 0.54% and Japan’s Nikkei jumped 0.8%.

Commodities

  • In commodities, U.S. crude fell 0.22%, or 13 cents, to $40.64 a barrel.
  • Brent was down 13 cents at $43.07.
  • As investors piled on equities, spot gold was relatively flat at $1,754.52 an ounce after trading down by up to 0.2%.

Currency Markets

  1. In the Asian afternoon trading session, the safe-haven yen slipped against the dollar to 107.13, while the euro was a shade higher at $1.1266.
  2. The risk sensitive Australian dollar was up 0.1% at $0.6910. Its kiwi counterpart was marginally weaker at $0.6472.

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