Asian markets mostly gain as investors digest US-China trade news
Japanese markets closed higher after the release of core consumer price index data, which slightly missed expectations. The Nikkei 225 added 0.4 percent, or 91.99 points, to finish at 22,930.36 and the broader Topix edged higher by 0.38 percent. The gains came as the yen extended losses against the dollar, trading at 110.85 to the greenback at 2:53 p.m. HK/SIN.
Among sectors, the Topix mining and oil subindexes led the climb higher, with insurers and automakers also rising for the most part.
Elsewhere, the Kospi tacked on 0.5 percent to end at 2,460.65 as Samsung Electronics clung to gains of 0.2 percent. Shipbuilders and steelmakers were also higher.
|ASX 200||S&P/ASX 200||6087.40||-6.90||-0.11%|
|CNBC 100||CNBC 100 ASIA IDX||8657.30||-8.86||-0.10%|
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.11 percent at 6,087.40 as gains in the health care and energy subindexes were offset by declines in the materials and financials sectors.
Developments in the second round of U.S.-China trade talks in Washington were in focus following news that China had announced it was rolling back an anti-dumping probe into U.S. sorghum imports. Earlier, Beijing had offered a proposal to reduce its trade deficit with the U.S. by $200 billion, Reuters reported, but China's foreign ministry later said that was not true.
President Donald Trump had said on Thursday that he doubted the high-level bilateral trade negotiations would be successful.
Several markets in the region had dipped into negative territory earlier in the day amid jitters over trade friction. "Market[s] ... took concerns over renewed trade tension and its potential disruption to the current equity rally seen over the last few days," analysts from OCBC Bank said in a morning note.
The overall move higher in Asia came on the back of slight declines seen stateside as investors digested news on ongoing U.S.-China negotiations and higher interest rates.
Although things could be a little more unpredictable and prone to volatility in the short-term amid trade concerns, fundamentals remained strong for Asian markets, said Sukumar Rajah, director of portfolio management at Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity.
The move higher in U.S. bond yields was also in focus, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note at 3.1 percent, after earlier touching its highest level since August 2008. Yields on the two-year and five-year Treasury notes, as well as the 30-year Treasury bond, touched multi-year highs overnight.
Of note, the Indonesian rupiah declined to a two and a half year low in the session despite the country's central bank raising interest rates on Thursday, a move that had been expected by most economists polled by Reuters. Bank Indonesia said on Friday that it was "in the market to smoothen rupiah volatility," Reuters reported.
Global benchmark Brent crude futures edged up by 0.34 percent to trade at $79.57 per barrel after rising as high as $80.50 per barrel, its highest since November 2014, in the last session. Meanwhile, U.S. crude futures added 0.25 percent to trade at $71.67.
In individual movers, Samsung Biologics rose 2.64 percent after the South Korean company said Biogen, a U.S. biotechnology firm, would exercise its call option to increase its stake in Samsung Bioepis. Biogen will exercise the option by June 29.
Focus on US-China trade, 10-year yields, earnings
Telecoms had plummeted by almost 2 percent at the end of trade. Altice and Telecom Italia dragged the sector lower on news of ratings downgrades. Both stocks dropped during the afternoon to close approximately 3.5 percent to the downside.
Basic resources also performed poorly, with shares finishing the day off by 1.2 percent. Glencore shares dropped, closing 4.4 percent lower, although they had been negative by almost 7 percent earlier in the afternoon. A report said that the mining firm may face investigation by the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office over its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Europe's automotive sector also closed well into negative trade, just over 1 percent lower. Fiat Chrysler foundered at the bottom of the group, ending in the red by 1.8 percent. CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that he will overhaul the company's operations in Italy, moving away from the manufacturing of small cars to focus on higher end models.
The banking sector was also nearly 1 percent lower at Friday's close, with Italian banks UBI Banca, BPER Banca and Banco BPM all down by over 6 percent. Uncertainty remains over the political agenda of two populist parties, the left-wing Five Star Movement and the far-right Lega, which stand likely to form the next government in a power-sharing agreement.
Looking across the European benchmark, Ubisoft rose to near the top of the index, closing up by over 4.5 percent. It had traded strongly throughout the day following higher-than-expected earnings.
At the other end of the spectrum, shares of Richemont were among the worst performers, finishing down by more than 5.3 percent on disappointing watch sales.
In earnings news, AstraZeneca reported a 37 percent decline in first-quarter profit, according to Reuters. Shares closed 1.9 percent lower, paring back losses made earlier in the day.
US stocks lower as trade talks with China continue
The broad index fell 0.1 percent with consumer stocks lagging. The Nasdaq composite declined 0.2 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average bucked the negative trend, rising 52 points.
S&P 500 and Nasdaq close lower as US-China trade tensions remain
The broad index fell 0.3 percent to 2,712.97 with energy and financials lagging. The Nasdaq composite declined 0.4 percent to 7,354.34. The Dow Jones industrial average bucked the negative trend, closing just above the flatline at 24,715.09 as Boeing and Caterpillar shares rose 2.1 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
"All of the news we're getting on trade is incremental, unfortunately," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. "Unless you're in the room, it's hard to get a feel for how these negotiations are going."
On Thursday, the two largest economies in the world began the second round of trade talks. But President Donald Trump told reporters he doubted the negotiations would be successful.
Later, reports emerged saying China would offer the U.S. a $200 billion trade surplus cut. Those reports, however, were quickly denied by a Chinese ministry spokesman on Friday. "This rumor is not true. This I can confirm to you," the spokesman said. "As I understand, the relevant consultations are ongoing and they are constructive."
"Is it a concern? Yes. How do you traded? We're not sure," said Ernie Cecilia, CIO of Bryn Mawr Trust. He noted, however, he is still constructive on the stock market as earnings and economic growth remain solid.
The major indexes posted slight weekly losses. The Dow and S&P 500 both fell 0.5 percent for the week, while the Nasdaq pulled back 0.7 percent. The move lower this week took place after the averages jumped more than 2 percent last week.
Helping push stocks lower this week were higher interest rates. The benchmark 10-year note yield broke above 3.1 percent for the first time since 2011 this week, while the two-year yield traded at its highest level in nearly 10 years. Fears of the Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy faster than expected have pushed investors to sell Treasurys recently.
In corporate news, Nordstrom shares dropped nearly 11 percent after the Seattle-based retailer reported same-store sales that missed analyst expectations. The miss was enough to overshadow better-than-expected revenue and earnings for the first quarter.
Applied Materials also dropped 8.3 percent after the company issued guidance that disappointed investors.