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Asia stages market fightback after global rout

Oct 12 2018 11:06

Asian stock markets rallied on Friday after two days of ferocious selling sparked by higher US interest rates, trade war fears and attacks by President Donald Trump on his "crazy" central bank.

Tokyo closed near half a percentage point higher after a see-saw session that saw it open in the red but quickly pare losses.

Elsewhere in Asia, China's benchmark Shanghai Composite climbed by 0.5% after suffering more than most in the recent capitulation.

Official data released earlier Friday showed that China's trade surplus with the US hit a new record in September, despite Washington's tariffs - adding fuel to a spiralling trade war between the world's top two economies.

Seoul was trading nearly 2% in the green. Hong Kong, Sydney and Wellington also enjoyed strong gains.

The past two days have seen something approaching panic in global equity markets, as investors took fright in the face of rising US interest rates and an intensifying trade war between Washington and Beijing.

The global sell-off was also due in part to US President Donald Trump describing the policies of the Federal Reserve as "loco" and "crazy", sparking concerns over the independence of the world's top central bank.

'Exhausted'

"There's a semblance of sanity returning to the markets, but we are no nearer a significant recovery," Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at OANDA, said in a commentary.

Markets are "exhausted after the most significant sell-off in global equities since February," he added.

After a volatile session on Wall Street, the Dow Jones ended 2.1% down, taking its losses for the week to more than five percent and closing at the lowest levels in months.

Frankfurt, Paris and London all lost at least 1.5% as renewed worries over the eurozone came to the fore amid a budgetary scrap between the European Union and Italy.

Some experts warned that the correction, which came after many indices had hit multi-year highs, would be more than a flash in the pan.

"When we have a recalibration in values, it's not surprising that it takes more than one day," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR.

"In these kinds of moves, it usually takes three days to wash out."

Most market watchers saw last week's surge in 10-year US Treasury bond yields as the catalyst for the two-day rout in the US.

Yields spiked at an unexpectedly fast rate, prompting worries about a sudden acceleration of inflation and more aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

Volatility also spread to commodities with big drops in the price of oil after the OPEC cartel cut its forecast for global oil demand.

However, these markets also staged a come-back in early Asian trade.

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equities  |  markets  |  asian markets
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