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Asian shares mark weekly gains as trade talks continue

Asian shares mark weekly gains as trade talks continue

By Vincent-Frédéric Mivelaz 

Asian markets have been closing in positive territory after US and Chinese mid-level officials ended a three-day session in Beijing on optimistic terms. Investors have been gaining confidence as the trade talks are expected to be extended, with the expected arrival of China's Vice Premier Liu He in Washington later this month.

The de-escalation of trade tensions bodes well for the stock market, which is set for new weekly gains. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+3.18% year-to-date) is closing a sixth trading session in positive territory amid a confirmed pause of Fed interest-rate increases and a stronger renminbi against the dollar. And US equities are set for a similar path, with five consecutive-day gains currently. However, the prospects of a continued government shutdown, which could become the longest if sustained through the weekend, and the risk of policy disputes between Republican and Democrats regarding a national emergency policy, should weigh on US equities and have a negative impact on US data, which is closely monitored by a large pool of financiers. US CPI (Consumer Price Index) data published today for December are expected to slow down, with headline y/y and m/m metrics given at 1.90% (prior: 2.20%) and -0.10% (prior: 0%).

The recent reaction in USD/CNY (--1.84% week-to-date) suggests that the currency pair is becoming an interesting indicator for gauging the US-China trade situation. Currently trading at 6.7428, largely below today's PBoC (People's Bank of China) fixing rate of 6.7909, we expect the pair to continue their downward trend short-term.

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Friday, 11 Jan, 2019 / 12:49

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