Asian Equities Rise; Brexit, Sino-U.S. Trade Talks in Focus
Asian equities rose in morning trade on Friday as traders digested the latest news on the Sino-U.S. trade front and Brexit.China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component rose 1.4% and 1.9% respectively by 10:23 PM ET (02:23 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1%.U.S. President Donald Trump said during a St. Patrick’s Day reception on Thursday that the U.S. will probably know in the next three or four weeks whether a trade deal with China is possible.“If that one gets done, it will be something that people will be talking about for a long time,” Trump said, noting that China has been “very responsible.”Citing three sources briefed on the discussion, CNBC reported that China is planning a state visit by President Xi Jinping and that Beijing wants to have all the details of the trade deal fully ironed out before its leader sits down with Trump.Meanwhile, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China’s new home prices in February rose 0.5% from a month earlier, slowing slightly from 0.6% growth in January.The weaker-than-expected data was largely shadowed by the Sino-U.S. trade news however and had little impact on equities.Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 1.1%, while South Korea’s KOSPI traded 1.2%.Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 edged up 0.1%.In the U.K., Brexit development continued to make headlines after lawmakers voted in favour of seeking a delayed departure from the European Union.Members of Parliament (MPs) voted 412 to 202 for an extension of Article 50 for at least three months.Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal suffered a second defeat in the parliament. A day later, U.K. lawmakers rejected the idea of leaving the EU without a deal.May earlier warned of lengthy delay to the Brexit process if her withdrawal deal could not get enough parliamentary support.