Asian markets were mostly higher on Thursday with Chinese stocks leading the charge.
The Shanghai Composite and the SZSE Component jumped 1.8% and 3.3% higher by 1:40AM ET (05:40 GMT). Data on Thursday revealed that China's factory price inflation cooled in July amid a slowdown in economic growth caused by the recent trade war with the U.S.
The producer price index (PPI) jumped 4.6 percent in July from a year earlier, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). That was more than the 4.4% general consensus but was slower than 4.7% in June.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also gained 1.2% in afternoon trade. Chinese insurance giant Ping An Insurance (HK:2318) is considering to acquire the U.K.-based Prudential (LON:PRU) Plc’s Asian business, which could be valued at $51.5 billion, Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing people familiar with the matter.
The Chinese firm is reportedly asking for the government’s support in the potential deal and has discussed financing options with banks, the article noted, adding that Prudential has not been approached at this stage.
The company’s shares plummeted 13% this year in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange market, while its market value shrank to $160 billion.
It was reported in early July that the firm was also interested in purchasing bio-pharmaceutical company China Biologic Products Holdings Inc.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced a 25% tariff on $16 billion worth of U.S. goods including passenger cars and motorcycles on Wednesday. Beijing’s announcement came after the Trump administration confirmed a list of $16 billion worth of Chinese goods that would be hit with tariffs in the previously day. China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that the U.S.’s decision is “very unreasonable,” and that China has no choice but to retaliate.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1% after data showed the country’s core machinery orders fell 8.8% in June, the fastest pace in six months, compared to the median estimate for a 1.3% decline.
Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.6%, while South Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.3%.