Stocks

Asian shares trade mixed, after 9 per cent gain for quarter

Bloomberg | Updated on December 26, 2019 Published on December 26, 2019

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Asian stocks saw another quiet year-end session on Thursday, sitting on an advance of almost 9 per cent for the quarter thanks to ebbing concerns about US-China trade tensions and expectations of a global economic pickup in 2020.

Shares ticked higher in Tokyo and Shanghai, and were flat in Seoul, without a cue from Wall Street overnight given the Christmas holiday. Hong Kong and Sydney were still shut. US futures ticked higher along with 10-year Treasury yields, while the Japanese yen edged down.

Crude oil climbed further above $61 a barrel in New York. Gold advanced back above $1,500 an ounce.

Jobless claims in the US Thursday are one of the few points of interest for traders on Boxing Day, with a number of markets still closed.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is heading for an advance of just under 9 per cent for the quarter, after retreating in the third quarter and being little changed in April-to-June. As attention turns toward January, investors will be looking for the US and China consummating their phase-one trade agreement, along with signs of a trough in manufacturing after some poor purchasing manager indexes for November.

"Money supply is rising faster than the economy is expanding, which is providing a deluge of liquidity for institutional investors to gorge on," Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at Axitrader, wrote in a note Thursday, noting the expanding balance sheets at central banks including the Federal Reserve. "When you combine this cash bonanza with the probable economic bounce from a tariff reversal, it gives more than reasonable cause to own risk assets."

In China, the overnight repo rate fell to the lowest level since 2009 Thursday in wake of recent liquidity injections by the central bank. Elsewhere, the pound made modest gains Thursday, suggesting the losses sustained last week and into Monday amid concern about a hard Brexit may be over for now.

Published on December 26, 2019
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