Asian stocks rise on trade optimism and strong US jobs

Asian stock markets were buoyed and bonds were sold down on Monday on the back of the latest positive signals around US-China trade negotiations as well as an indication of resilience in the world’s number one economy.

In afternoon trading in the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index hit a three-month high, adding 1.3 per cent and China’s CSI 300 of Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed shares edged 0.7 per cent higher. South Korea’s export and electronics-oriented benchmark Kospi gained 1.3 per cent to near a four-month high, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.3 per cent, as a lacklustre set of earnings from bank Westpac capped enthusiasm. The Japanese market is closed for a public holiday.

The upbeat mood in Asia’s equity markets came as Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, said on Sunday that he was “quite optimistic” that the remaining obstacles in the first phase of US trade negotiations with China could be overcome soon, adding that the Chinese and US leaders still planned to meet later this month. 

Meanwhile, data on Friday showed that the US economy added more jobs than expected in October, defying predictions that a year of slowing manufacturing growth would stunt consumer spending and company hiring. 

“Trade optimism coupled with the latest non-farm payrolls surprise can be seen aiding US futures and Asia markets on a better footing,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG.

The risk-on mood prompted a sell-off in the bond markets during Asian hours, as yields on Australian 10-year treasuries jumped 8 basis points to 1.170 per cent. Japan and US treasuries were not trading in Asian hours on Monday.

S&P 500 futures were pointing 0.2 per cent higher for when Wall Street begins trading later on Monday.

Top markets stories

Markets Briefing is a concise look at global markets, updated throughout the trading day by Financial Times journalists in Hong Kong, New York and London. Feedback? Write in the comments below or send us an email.