Asian Markets Advance As Trade War Fears Ease

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Asian stock markets are advancing and the safe-haven yen weakened on Tuesday after Wall Street rebounded overnight as trade war concerns eased following reports that the U.S. and China are willing to negotiate trade-related issues and avert a potential trade war.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has stressed that negotiations with China are ongoing, while Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that the U.S. and China should maintain negotiations to avoid a trade war.

The Australian market is higher on indications that trade tensions between the U.S. and China has eased.

In late-morning trades, the S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 32.20 points or 0.56 percent to 5,822.70, off a high of 5,830.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 32.30 points or 0.55 percent to 5,933.70.

The major miners are higher despite a fall in the prices of iron ore. BHP Billiton is adding 0.3 percent and Rio Tinto is advancing almost 1 percent, while Fortescue Metals is lower by more than 2 percent.

Copper miner Oz Minerals has launched a takeover bid for Avanco Resources that values the ASX-listed exploration company at A$444 million. However, shares of Oz Minerals are losing more than 1 percent.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank - are also higher in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.7 percent.

Oil stocks are mostly higher even as crude oil prices declined overnight. Santos is adding 0.4 percent and Oil Search is rising almost 1 percent, while Woodside Petroleum is down 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, gold miners are mixed after gold prices rose for a fourth straight session overnight. Evolution Mining is rising more than 1 percent. Newcrest Mining is declining almost 1 percent after the company said it will resume mining at its Cadia mine on Tuesday after parts of a tailings dam collapsed, while processing remains suspended.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local unit was trading at US$0.7746, up from US$0.7721 on Monday.

The Japanese market is rising and the safe-haven yen weakened as trade tensions between the U.S. and China appeared to ease.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is advancing 374.13 points or 1.80 percent to 21,140.23, off a high of 21,158.28 earlier.

The major exporters are higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic is gaining almost 5 percent, while Sony and Mitsubishi Electric are advancing more than 2 percent each. Canon is edging up less than 0.1 percent.

Among the major automakers, Toyota is rising almost 2 percent and Honda is adding more than 1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding 2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is higher by more than 1 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is down 0.3 percent and Japan Petroleum Exploration is declining more than 1 percent after crude oil prices declined overnight.

Among the market's best performers, Fuji Electric is gaining almost 5 percent, Advantest Corp. is rising more than 4 percent and Showa Denko is higher by 4 percent.

On the flip side, Mitsubishi Motors is declining more than 1 percent and Yahoo Japan is down almost 1 percent.

In economic news, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were up 0.6 percent on year in February. That was shy of expectations for 0.78 percent, which would have been unchanged from the January reading.

On a monthly basis, prices added 0.2 percent after sliding 0.6 percent in January. In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 105 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan are advancing more than 1 percent each, while Shanghai, Indonesia and New Zealand are up almost 1 percent each. South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia are also higher.

On Wall Street, stocks rebounded on Monday as traders were inspired to pick up stocks at reduced levels amid easing concerns about a potential trade war between the U.S. and China. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview on Fox News on Sunday that he is "cautiously hopeful" a trade agreement can be reached.

The Dow spiked 669.40 points or 2.8 percent to 24,202.60, the Nasdaq soared 227.88 points or 3.3 percent to 7,220.54 and the S&P 500 jumped 70.29 points or 2.7 percent to 2,658.55.

The major European markets turned lower over on Monday. The German DAX Index slid by 0.8 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dropped by 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices fell Monday, ending a recent hot streak despite a weak U.S. dollar. May WTI oil declined $0.33 or 0.5 percent to settle at $65.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.