Asian Stocks Follow U.S. Equities Higher, Chinese Markets Outperform

Aug 07, 2018

Asian markets extended their gains in afternoon trade on Tuesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street. Chinese stocks outperformed their regional peers as investors shrugged off recent U.S.-China trade dispute.

Technology stocks outperformed in the U.S. overnight, led by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) as the company’s stocks rebounded from its sharp selloff last week.

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite and the SZSE Component both jumped 1.6% by 1:45AM ET (05:45 GMT).

China Tower Corporation, the world’s biggest telecommunications group by revenue, is set to debut its listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

The Chinese state-owned telecommunications infrastructure company is seeking $6.9 billion in its planned initial public offering in Hong Kong, CNBC reported on Tuesday. The IPO would be the second biggest offering since 2016, just behind the Postal Savings Bank of China Co. Ltd.’s $7.63 billion float in Hong Kong two years ago.

The Chinese company controlled over 1.8 million mobile towers, about 1,000 more than the number of the second-largest company in the market, according to reports.

Investors will likely focus on the country’s July trade figures to be released on Wednesday. Analysts expect the country’s trade surplus to narrow to $39.1 billion in July from $41.6 billion.

In addition, China will publish data on consumer and factory inflation figures on Thursday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.7%.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 traded 0.6% higher. Softbank Corp took center stage after reports on Tuesday suggested the company is considering an IPO for its domestic wireless business, which valuation could reach as high as $90 billion.

Reports citing people familiar with the matter said Softbank is now in talks with its advisers and the discussion are now in preliminary stages.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s KOSPI also gained 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 underperformed its regional peers and slipped 0.4% in afternoon trade.

In other news, the U.S. has restored sanctions against Iran as President Donald Trump reaffirmed plans to impose more penalties on the country’s oil sales in November.

The crude sanctions will take effect on November 4 this year. Trump also signed an executive order to restrict purchases of dollar banknotes by Iran, preventing the government from trading Gold and other precious metals and blocking the nation from selling or acquiring various industrial metals. The measures would take effect on Aug. 7.

China said it would not join any global embargo of oil from Iran, although it would not increase their purchase of it.

“A lot of people think China can just buy all of the Iranian oil but they came out and said: 'Yes, we may not reduce but we are not going to increase our intake either.' So, you could see a significant crunch in terms of lost supplies into the market and then that obviously means higher prices,” Sen added.