Tokyo leads Asian market gains in holiday trade

AFP – Asian markets mostly rose Tuesday after Wall Street finished a volatile quarter on a positive note, while China began a week-long break to celebrate the 70th birthday of the People’s Republic.

Following Wall Street’s lead, Tokyo climbed 0.7 percent, helped by a drop in the yen and as investors shrugged off a Japanese survey that showed business confidence continued falling.

Buyer sentiment got a boost from comments from the Trump administration denying the likelihood of potential new US restrictions on Chinese investment, analysts said.

“US stocks rebounded and the dollar topped 108 yen” in a positive development for Japanese exporters, Seiichi Suzuki, senior market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, told AFP.

Taipei and Singapore both jumped 1.0 percent and gains were also seen in Wellington and Seoul. Manila and Bangkok were both down by around half a percent while Jakarta was flat.

Investors are looking ahead to the resumption of talks between Beijing and Washington this month, said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist of Prudential Financial.

The talks are “clearly a positive for the markets because the effect it has on the world economy is paramount going into the last quarter”, Krosby said.

Markets in China and Hong Kong were closed for a public holiday as anniversary celebrations were underway in Beijing but with mass protests planned in the southern financial hub.

Sydney rose 0.3 percent ahead of a central bank meeting, with a rate cut predicted by a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Oil prices had fallen sharply Monday following reports that Saudi Arabia restored oil production more quickly than expected following attacks on infrastructure.

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The retreat in prices also came after remarks by Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman endorsing a non-military solution for a longstanding conflict with Iran, which Saudi Arabia has blamed for the recent oilfield attacks.

He told “60 minutes” a war would be catastrophic for global growth.

“Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” the prince said.

On Tuesday Brent crude was still down but West Texas Intermediate rose 0.5 percent.

– Key figures around 0240 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.7 percent at 21,910.04 (break)

Hong Kong (closed) – Hang Seng at 26,092.27

Shanghai (closed) – Composite at 2,905.19

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,408.21 (close)

New York – Dow: UP 0.4 percent at 26,916.83 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0888 from $1.0900 at 2050 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2282 from $1.2294

Dollar/yen: UP at 108.19 yen from 108.10 yen

Euro/pound: DOWN at 88.65 pence from 88.66 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 47 cents at $54.54 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN $1.13 at $60.78 per barrel

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