Asian shares gain as investors await news on China-U.S. trade

Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press
Published Friday, March 15, 2019 1:01AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 15, 2019 1:28AM EDT

BANGKOK — Shares rose Friday in Asia after a day of lacklustre trading on Wall Street.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 1 per cent to 21,506.92 as the Bank of Japan ended a policy meeting by keeping its key interest rate at minus 0.1 per cent, maintaining its stance of extreme monetary easing and lavish stimulus.

Chinese shares surged as the annual session of its ceremonial congress ended with Premier Li Keqiang pledging support for the slowing economy.

Li said the country would cut fees and taxes, delivering help worth almost 2 trillion yen (about $300 billion) to companies, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

“We are going to cut value-added tax rates for manufacturing and other basic sectors, as well as for small and medium-sized companies, the largest providers of jobs in our country, in a meaningful way,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.

The Shanghai Composite index jumped 1.5 per cent to 3,035.10 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.8 per cent to 29,083.03.

Investors spent Thursday in a wait-and-see mode, keeping a close watch on global trade issues and continuing to mostly brush off the chaos surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union, its key trading bloc.

U.S. stocks indexes barely budged Thursday as the market’s three-day winning streak stalled.

The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index 0.1 per cent to 2,808.48. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat at 25,709.94. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.2 per cent to 7,630.91, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 0.4 per cent, to 1,549.63.

Facebook fell 1.8 per cent after the New York Times reported that its data-sharing practices are now under criminal investigation.

The investigation into how it

Read More Here...

Bookmark the permalink.