Asian shares defy Wall Street gains as China rally cools

Reuters/New York
Filed on October 13, 2020

(Reuters file)

Gold was 0.35% weaker to $1,915.36 an ounce.

Asian shares slipped on Tuesday, brushing off a firmer Wall Street lead as China's post-holiday rally cooled, although a buoyant tech sector and fresh optimism about US stimulus are expected to continue to support sentiment.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped into negative territory in the Asian session, down 0.09 per cent.

Weakness emerged early in China as the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.5 per cent, trimming gains made in the two trading days since a week-long public holiday last week. China's blue chip index CSI300 shed 0.3 per cent.

The morning session of Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was canceled as the city faced a typhoon warning.

In Japan, the Nikkei index was off 0.2 per cent.

Despite the volatility across the region on Tuesday, Surich Asset Management founder Simon Yuen said he was confident Asian stock markets would retain positive fundamentals following the US election on November 3.

"We expect Asian equities should outperform the global equity market in next two to three years because if (Joe) Biden is elected US shall have an easier relationship with China," Yuen said.

"On the other hand, if (Donald) Trump is elected, China will promote demand in terms of consumer spending in order to increase their dominance over the world."

Australian S&P/ASX 200 was the region's only bright spot, up 1 per cent on firmer bank stocks and despite a selldown in major coal names after reports China could look to ban Australian imports of the commodity.

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite on Monday staged its biggest one-day rally in a month, jumping 2.56 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.88 per cent and the S&P 500 gained 1.64 per cent.

The US dollar was pinned near a three-week low and gold, another safe-haven asset, stayed below a three-week high, slapped by investor demand for risk.

The dollar index gained 0.15 per cent, reversing an earlier fall in the US session.
Wall Street gains on Monday were driven by Apple Inc , which surged 6.4 per cent ahead of an expected debut of its latest iPhone on Tuesday, while Amazon rallied 4.8 per cent ahead of its Prime Day shopping event this week.

Investors now await US bank results with JPMorgan and Citigroup kicking off third-quarter earnings season on Tuesday. Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley report later in the week.

Bets that more US stimulus was in the offing came despite signs that talks in Washington had stalled again, leading the Trump administration to call on Congress to pass a less ambitious coronavirus relief bill.

US Senate Republicans said they will go along with what President Trump wants in coronavirus relief legislation, a White House spokeswoman said on Monday.
Beijing's tensions with Washington are also in view after the White House moved forward with three sales of advanced weaponry to Taiwan, sources familiar with the situation said on Monday.

The move in the run-up to the US election is likely to anger China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province.

Investors are also closely watching the global resurgence in coronavirus cases after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a new system of restrictions on parts of England. Lawmakers will vote on the move on Tuesday.

Gold was 0.35 per cent weaker to $1,915.36 an ounce.

In energy markets, oil prices slipped after a force majeure at Libya's largest oilfield lifted, a Norwegian strike affecting production ended and US producers began restoring output after Hurricane Delta.

In Asian trade, Brent crude was 0.05 per cent higher at $41.71 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate climbed by the same amount to reach $39.41.

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