Global stocks are on the rise as investors monitored headlines on US-China trade talks. Ahead of next week’s high-level meetings, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States and China were “making a lot of progress” in talks and he looked forward to discussions with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
However, the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross painted a relatively downbeat picture of the US-China trade deal talks but added there is a fair chance they will get a deal.
Investors’ focus was also on the speech of billionaire George Soros at the World Economic Forum in Davos, who warned that the use of artificial intelligence from Beijing to repress its citizens is a “death threat”. Soros defined the Chinese President Xi Jinping as “the most dangerous opponent of democracy”.
The former hedge fund manager said China is developing a centralized database that will use algorithms to determine if a person poses a threat to the one-party system.
Asian markets recap
The main stock indexes in the Asia-Pacific region ended the last session of the week on green territory despite investors’ concerns about ongoing US-China trade talks.
Japanese blue-chip index Nikkei 225 added 198.93 points to its value, reaching a level of 20,773.56 points. The shares of the SoftBank Group rose 1.8%. Before the start of the session, it was reported that consumer prices in Japan rose by 1.1% YoY in January, surpassing the 0.9% forecast made by experts. The stocks of Toyota and Honda appreciated by 0.29% and 1.16%, respectively.
On the Chinese markets, the continental index Shanghai Composite rose by 0.39% to 2,601.72 points, while Hong Kong’s index Hang Seng rose by 396.92 points, or 1.46%, to 27,517.90 points.
One of the main topics of Chinese exchanges was the approval that the technology company Tencent Holdings received from Chinese regulators for two of its games after the end of a long period in which authorities had stopped issuing licenses for new titles. Tencent shares rose by 2.85% at the end of the session. On the other hand, the value of Alibaba Group’s shares rose by 2.52%.
In South Korea, the index Kospi added 32 points, or 1.52%, to its value and ended the session at 2,177.73 points. The shares of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix rose by 3.95% and 5.82%, respectively.
In Australia, the local index S&P ASX 200 rose by 0.68% to 5,905.60 points. The shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose by 1.20% and 0.57% respectively, while Westpac and National Australia Bank rose by 0.82% and 0.94%, respectively.
European markets mid-session recap
German stocks rose on Friday with DAX 30 adding 1.5% to 11,297.14 points at 12:20 GMT. Lender Deutsche Bank was up nearly 2% and rival Commerzbank gained 0.5%. In economic releases, the headline German ifo business climate index dipped to 99.1 in January from 101.0 in the previous month.
London’s blue-chip stocks were higher on Friday, snapping three sessions of losses, fuelled by a rally in mining, oil and banking stocks, while heavyweight Vodafone fell again and M&A news triggered a stout rally in pub chain Fuller, Smith & Turner. The index FTSE 100 is up by 0.1% to 6,825.91 points at mid-session on Friday. Fresnillo rose nearly 3%, while Glencore, Antofagasta, Anglo American all gained ground. Oil majors were lifted by higher crude prices as turmoil in Venezuela renewed concerns that its exports could be disrupted.
French stocks rose sharply on Friday and CAC 40 is trading with an increase of 0.88% to 4,915.06 points at 12:20 GMT. AccorHotels rose by 0.5% after announcing two bond issues for 1.1 billion EUR. Air Liquide was marginally lower after it acquired an 18.6% stake in the capital of Canadian company Hydrogenics Corporation.
Wall Street pre-session recap
Wall Street stock index futures rose ahead of Friday’s open, as investors grew more optimistic about an end to the government shutdown and geared up for another batch of corporate earnings.
Dow futures indicated a positive open of more than 100 points as of 7:30 a.m. ET. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also pointing to a higher start to trading.