Asian markets mostly rise but dealers ease up after rally

HONG KONG (AFP) – Asian markets mostly rose yesterday but investors appeared to take their foot off the pedal after the recent trade deal-fuelled rally, while sterling extended losses after Prime Minister Boris Johnson fanned fresh fears of a no-deal Brexit.

The region was given yet another strong lead from Wall Street, where all three main indexes clocked up more records following healthy United States (US) housing and industrial output data.

The mood across trading floors remains upbeat following last week’s long-awaited agreement that will see US tariffs lowered, and observers said that while details of the pact remain thin, the year looks set to end on a positive note.

The US data was encouraging as it was “very unclear that the improvement in trade sentiment – hence a better global outlook – is going to translate into real positive economic momentum immediately”, said Stephen Innes at AxiTrader.

“But it’s probably safe to say things shouldn’t get worse after the tariff rollback.

“And with the global data apparently bottoming, investors are playing from a much stronger hand than initially imagined.” Hong Kong added 0.2 per cent, Sydney edged up 0.1 per cent, Mumbai gained 0.3 per cent and Taipei added 0.2 per cent.

There were also gains in Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta and Wellington.

Tokyo ended down 0.6 per cent and Shanghai finished off 0.2 per cent while Seoul and Singapore were flat.

“The price action suggests that the interim trade-deal induced rally may be taking a well-earned rest for now, after the impressive climb in stocks of the last few days,” said OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley.