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Aug 7, 2018

Asia Stock Markets at Close Report: Asia markets climb amid trade tensions; SoftBank rises 6.5% I CNBC

cnbc.com

Asia markets climb amid trade tensions; SoftBank rises 6.5%

Cheang Ming


Asian stocks climbed on Tuesday, with markets in the region mostly finishing higher after U.S.-China trade jitters weighed on sentiment in the last session.
Japanese shares rose, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 adding 0.69 percent, or 155.42 points, to close at 22,662.74. Driving those gains was the 6.54 percent surge in SoftBank shares after the index heavyweight reported a 49 percent jump in its quarterly profit. Most sectors closed in positive territory, with the telecommunications sector leading the gains.
 
NIKKEI NIKKEI 22662.74 155.42 0.69%
HSI HSI 28248.88 429.32 1.54%
ASX 200 S&P/ASX 200 6253.90 -19.10 -0.30%
SHANGHAI Shanghai 2779.30 74.14 2.74%
KOSPI KOSPI Index 2300.16 13.66 0.60%
CNBC 100 CNBC 100 ASIA IDX 8319.88 80.74 0.98%
South Korea's Kospi, meanwhile, tacked on 0.6 percent to end at 2,300.16. Technology finished higher, with Samsung Electronics gaining 1.97 percent, while brokerages and retailers came under pressure.
Chinese stocks bounced back following Monday's slide when trade uncertainty dampened investor sentiment. The Shanghai Composite added 2.74 percent to close at 2,779.30, finishing the session higher on the back of a four-day losing streak, while the blue-chip CSI 300 was up 2.92 percent for the day.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 1.48 percent by 3:10 p.m. HK/SIN, extending gains made during the Monday session that had snapped a five-day losing streak. Energy as well as property and construction led the advance, both up by more than 3 percent before the market close, with Country Garden jumping 6.24 percent by 3:10 p.m. HK/SIN.
Elsewhere, Australian shares finished the day lower as the Reserve Bank of Australia held rates steady. The S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3 percent to close at 6,253.90 as declines in the materials and telecommunications subindexes weighed on the broader index.
MSCI's index of shares in Asia Pacific outside of Japan traded higher by 0.75 percent in afternoon trade.
The strong showing in Asia came on the back of U.S. stocks rising on Monday as investors shrugged off trade uncertainty and focused instead on corporate earnings news.
Investors stateside had come into the earnings season with high hopes as FactSet had forecast year-over-year profits to grow by 20 percent in the second quarter. So far, second-quarter earnings have grown by 24 percent through Friday.
The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.61 percent to finish the session at 7,859.68, recording a five-day winning streak which was its longest since May. Other U.S. indexes also posted gains.
That compared to slightly more downbeat sessions seen in Asia on Monday after China last week said it was preparing to impose duties, ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent, on around $60 billion in U.S. imports. Beijing said those tariffs would take effect if the U.S. went ahead with imposing more duties on Chinese goods.
Chinese state media claimed the country was being "rational" in its countermeasures, which came after U.S. President Donald Trump asked trade officials to consider increasing proposed tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 percent from an earlier announced 10 percent.
Both the Shanghai and Shenzhen Composite were in bear market territory at the end of Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai share average closing down 1.26 percent in the previous session.
"When I'm talking with domestic Chinese investors, they're very bearish at the moment, not just about their market but about the world. And what I'm finding a lot of people talking about is the fact that the U.S. yield curve is flattening, it's probably going to get inverted if the Fed keeps tightening," Mark Jolley, global strategist at CCB International Securities, told CNBC's "Squawk Box."
Apart from that, investors were also worried over the motivation behind the U.S. administration's current trade policy, Jolley added.
The dollar gave up some of its overnight gains made on the back of trade tensions. The dollar index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies, last traded at 95.186, compared to the 95.3 handle seen earlier.
Meanwhile, the British pound retraced some its losses after sliding overnight on concerns over Brexit. Britain's international trade minister Liam Fox said there was a 60 percent chance of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal, AP said. The pound traded as low as $1.2920 overnight before paring some losses to trade at $1.2962 at 3:14 p.m. HK/SIN.
Among individual movers, shares of China Evergrande Group popped 16.83 percent in Hong Kong by 3:09 p.m. HK/SIN after the developer announced in a Monday update that it expected net profit in the first half to rise by more than 125 percent compared to one year ago.
— CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.