AP October 12, 2018, 3:36 AM Asian stock markets stem bleeding left behind by Wall Street
SINGAPORE — Share prices in Asia rebounded Friday on a report that President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping may meet at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina in late November.
The Wall Street Journal said the White House had informed officials in Beijing it would go ahead with a summit meeting in Buenos Aires. It cited unnamed sources from both sides.
There was no immediate word from Chinese officials in Beijing.
The aim was to find a way out of the impasse over trade that has led both countries to impose penalty tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's exports.
Strong Chinese export data also helped breathe life into share benchmarks that had languished in recent days.
Data released Friday showed China's trade balance strengthened to $31.7 billion in September from $27.9 billion in the previous month. This surpassed market expectations of $19.7 billion. Year-over-year exports grew, and imports were not far off from what was predicted.
"There's a semblance of sanity returning to the markets, but we are no nearer a significant recovery," Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary.
News reports that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was advised against labeling China a currency manipulator – a status that could trigger penalties – "has eased tension although we are not out of the weeds just yet," he said. The U.S. Treasury will soon release a currency report that some analysts suggest might change the official stance on China's exchange rate policy.
The rebound followed another rout on Wall Street where indexes tumbled for a second straight day Thursday on worries that rising interest rates and trade tensions could hurt global growth.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.4 percent Friday to 22,675.89 after sinking early in the day following a nearly 4 percent loss on Thursday. Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose 0.2 percent to 5,859.70.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 1.7 percent to 25,694.90. The Shanghai Composite index advanced 0.6 percent to 2,597.14. Shares also rose in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
A decline in the yield on 10-year Treasurys hit bank stocks, while technology and retail companies stumbled. The benchmark S&P 500 index started the day with gains, but ultimately lost 2.1 percent to 2,728.37, its lowest close in three months and sixth straight loss.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.1 percent to 25,052.83 and the Nasdaq composite gave up 1.3 percent to 7,329.06. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 1.9 percent to 1,545.38.
In other trading, U.S. crude oil added 32 cents to $71.29. The contract dropped 3 percent to close at $70.97 in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 41 cents to $80.67. It dropped 3.4 percent to $80.26 in London.
The dollar strengthened to 112.33 Japanese yen from 112.13 yen late Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1602 from $1.1586.