Asian Stocks Mixed as Traders Weigh Gains on Wall Street, Elevated Trade Tensions

Date | 03-08-2018 - 10:51 AM Article Type | Stock Markets Region | Asia – Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Friday as investors weighed gains from the optimism for technology shares on Wall Street and the elevated trade tensions between China and the U.S.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) made headlines as it rose 2.9% to close at $207.3 in the U.S. on Thursday and became the first U.S.-based company with a market value of $1 trillion. The company reported strong third-quarter earnings earlier this week.

China-based PetroChina Co Ltd (HK:0857) reached that valuation in 2007 but slumped soon after a financial crisis sent oil prices down.

So far, almost 400 companies listed on the S&P 500 reported earnings this season and about 85% of them beat analysts’ expectations, Bloomberg reported.

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were down 0.1% and 0.5% by 10:20PM ET (02:20 GMT). Chinese stocks continued to underperform their regional peers as trade concerns returned to focus this week.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urged to inflict more pain to China unless it changes its economic system.

“We have to create a situation where it’s more painful for them to continue their bad practices than it is to reform,” Ross said in an interview on Fox Business Network on Thursday. The U.S. will keep turning up the pressure on China for as long as the country refuses to level the economic playing field, said Ross. “The reason for the tariffs to begin with was to try and convince the Chinese to modify their behavior. Instead they have been retaliating. So the president now feels that it’s potentially time to put more pressure on, in order to modify their behavior,” he said.

His comment came after China accused the U.S. of “blackmailing” on Thursday and that it would never surrender to U.S. trade threats.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.2%, and South Korea’s KOSPI also edged up 0.4%.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also tracked higher. Information technology led the advance, with the subindex higher by 2.53% earlier in the morning.

Looking ahead, the U.S. jobs report is due later in the day, and is widely expected to report a healthy labor market, with 193,000 new jobs.

Author: PPS
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