On Tuesday, Asian stock markets were mostly higher as the new year’s first trading session began and traders drifted back to work after the holiday break, with Hong Kong performed the best. Also, China showed upbeat manufacturing PMI data for the month of December. The dollar, meanwhile, remained on the back foot after hitting its lowest levels in three months.
Regional investors brushed off plunges in New York on the last day of 2017, instead, they build on the healthy progress backed by robust data, increase corporate profits, and hope that President Donald Trump’s tax cuts will fire U.S. growth.
Moreover, they are also waiting for the issuance of key U.S jobs data at the end of the week, which will give new hints about the condition of the world’s biggest economy.
Hong Kong headed Tuesday’s rally, rising 1.6 percent to its highest level since late 2007, while Shanghai was one percent higher, supported by data indicating that the expansion of the manufacturing activity in China was sustained in December.
The news arrives as the country’s heads look to make a delicate shift in the economy from state investment and exports to one driven by consumer demand, while also settling an increasing debt mountain and solving pollution.
Chief Asia-Pacific economist at IHS Markit in Singapore, And Rajiv
“Risks to the Chinese economy will remain among the key risks to the global growth outlook in 2018, with the Asia Pacific region, particularly vulnerable to the shock waves from a slowdown,” he said in a report.
Meanwhile, among other markets, Singapore jumped 0.3 percent after data indicating the city-state’s economy beats estimates in the last three months of the year.
Seoul gained 0.2 percent with some positive news seen after North Korean head Kim Jong-Un said he was open to having dialogues with the South.
Taipei rose 0.4 percent, but Sydney dipped 0.2 percent.
On the currency markets, the U.S dollar experienced further selling, with analysts aiming for profit-taking after the news of the much-anticipated U.S tax cuts, and the expected monetary tightening by other central banks that will align them with the Federal Reserve.
The single currency is above US$1.20 and staying at levels not seen since September, while the pound is also near three-and-a-half-month peaks.
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