Asian shares eked out their best day in a week on Tuesday as positive economic data and hints of easing Sino-U.S. tensions. They offered some respite after recent sell-offs, though fears of a global recession and sky-high inflation tempered the mood.
MSCI’s gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan rose 0.45%, on track for its best day since late June. While EUROSTOXX 50 futures added 0.5% and S&P500 e-mini futures 0.4%, indicating a positive start for equities in European and U.S. trading. Still, the Asian regional index has fallen 16.86% so far this year, as worries that central banks around the world. This will push economies into recession to break red-hot inflation have sent investors running for cover.
Offering brief respite to nervous markets was a report that U.S. president Joe Biden was leaning towards a decision on easing tariffs on goods. Those from China as well as news Chinese vice premier Liu He had spoken to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, said Redmond Wong, market strategist, Greater China, at Saxo Markets Hong Kong.
Overnight, the Wall Street Journal reported Biden was contemplating rolling back some tariffs on Chinese imports in an effort to slow inflation. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (.HSI) rose 0.25%, though mainland Chinese share gave up their early gains after the services data. Which is as concerns of a flare-up in COVID-19 cases overshadowed optimism, with blue chips (.CSI300) last down 0.75%.
Those concerns were front and centre in South Korea, where June inflation accelerated. Since Asian financial crisis means fanning expectations the central bank could deliver a 50 basis point rake hike for the first time next week to cool prices.