HONG KONG, Asian markets mostly rose Monday as traders look ahead to a key meeting of the Federal Reserve, and a Chinese policysetting conference this week.
However, there is still caution on trading floors after Friday's sharp
selloff fuelled by concerns over China's economy, and despite a tweet from
Donald Trump suggesting a trade deal could be hammered out between Washington
While there are signs the world's top two economies are beginning to move
towards a resolution in their bitter tariffs spat, there are increasing
concerns about the global outlook following another dour set of indicators
out of China.
A string of belowpar readings this year have highlighted a slowdown in the
Asian giant and observers are forecasting leaders will unveil fresh measures
to pep up the economy, which is on course for another year of relatively weak
A speech from President Xi Jinping to mark 40 years since China's economy
began opening up will be closely followed Tuesday, and that is expected to be
followed by a start of a conference setting out the country's 2019 economic
We should expect a raft of stimulus measures from China policymakers in an
attempt to stabilise the domestic economy, said Stephen Innes, head of Asia
Pacific trade at OANDA.
The Fed will conclude its ratesetting policy meeting Wednesday and while
expectations are for another hike in borrowing costs, comments from chairman
Jerome Powell will be closely watched for an idea of its plans for 2019.
' A lot of volatility'
In light of the ChinaUS trade row and signs of weakness in the global
economy, the bank has sounded a little more dovish in recent weeks, fuelling
speculation it will slow down its pace of rate hikes which has provided
some muchneeded support to equities.
The upcoming (Fed) meeting and China's policysetting meeting, have been
the most actively discussed topics around the markets, Innes added. And
both events have a smoothing effect on risk sentiment.
In early business, Hong rose 0.2 percent, Shanghai edged up 0.1
percent and Tokyo finished the morning 0.8 percent higher while Sydney put on
0.5 percent and Singapore jumped 1.3 percent.
Seoul added 0.2 percent and Taipei gained 0.3 percent but Wellington lost
Steve Goldman, fund manager at Kapstream Capital, told Bloomberg TV in
Sydney that we're going to see a lot of volatility in the new year because
of global uncertainty.
Hopes that China and the US can reach a deal to end their trade war were
given a boost by Trump Friday, when he tweeted: China wants to make a big
and very comprehensive deal. It could happen, and rather soon!
That came after China earlier in the day backed off fresh levies imposed
this summer on USmade cars and auto parts.
While a fullblown deal is some way off, the developments have provided
some hope to dealers.
On currency markets the pound remains bogged down around 20month lows as
Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to win concessions from EU leaders over
her Brexit agreement, which a majority of lawmakers in Westminster oppose.
Facing growing calls for another referendum to break the deadlock, May is
expected to tell MPs that such a move will do irreparable damage to British
However, with her agreement all but dead in the water, there is a growing
expectation Britain will leave the EU without a deal, which commentators warn
could hammer the British economy.
Key figures around 0300 GMT
Tokyo Nikkei 225: UP 0.8 percent at 21,536.85 (break)
Hong Kong Hang Seng: UP 0.2 percent at 26,132.71
Shanghai Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 2,597.30
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2580 from $1.2582
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1307 from $1.1303
Dollar/yen: UP at 113.44 yen from 113.39 yen
Oil West Texas Intermediate UP 25 cents at $51.45 per barrel
Oil Brent Crude: UP 18 cents at $60.46 per barrel
New York Dow: DOWN 1.7 percent at 24,168.96 (close)
London FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 6,845.17 (close)
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)