Asian stocks rebounded Thursday after Wall Street eked out a gain following volatility fueled by concern about possible fallout from the U.S.-Chinese trade war.
Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong all advanced, recovering some of their losses following three days of anxiety over the decline of China’s yuan against the dollar.
Investors were rattled Wednesday by a wave of interest rate cuts by central banks in India, Thailand and New Zealand. That adds to rate cuts since May in Australia, South Korea and the Philippines in response to fear U.S.-Chinese trade tension will dent global economic growth.
“Trade anxiety remains high, impacting equities,” said Alfonso Esparza of Oanda in a report.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9% to 2,794.29 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.4% to 20,593.35. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.6% to 26,162.60 and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.6% to 1,920.61.
Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 was 0.7% higher at 6,568.10 and India’s Sensex opened up 0.2% at 36,767.18. Markets in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia advanced.
On Wall Street, the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.1%, to 2,883.98. It had been down 2% during the heaviest bout of selling.
The Dow dropped 0.1% to 26,007.07. The Nasdaq composite index climbed 0.4% to 7,862.83.
Last week, President Donald Trump rattled markets when he promised to impose 10% tariffs on Sept. 1 on all Chinese imports that haven’t already been hit with tariffs of 25%. China struck back on Monday, allowing its yuan to weaken against the U.S. dollar.
The yuan fell further Tuesday and Wednesday, but investors were encouraged by Chinese central bank promises the decline wouldn’t continue and the exchange rate would be kept stable.
On Thursday, the yuan strengthened slightly to 7.0460 to the dollar from 7.0597 late Wednesday. But it stayed below the politically sensitive level of seven to the U.S. currency that it broke through on Monday.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude jumped $1.62 to $52.72 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract plunged $2.54 on Wednesday to close at $51.09. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.57 per barrel in London to $57.80. It dropped $2.71 the previous session to $56.23.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 106.11 yen from Wednesday’s 106.26 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1206 from $1.1200.