HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed today as the volatile week drew to a close with investors preparing for the start of the corporate earnings season.
With few fresh developments on the China-US trade talks, the rally that characterized the first three months of the year appears to be running out of steam, while Donald Trump’s threats of tariffs against Europe has jolted confidence.
Dealers are also keeping watch on the release later in the day of Chinese trade data, which should provide a new snapshot of how the world’s number two economy is performing as the global outlook weakens. The readings come after a run of positive releases from Beijing including forecast-beating factory activity and a jump in inflation.
“Recent improvements in China activity data… expectations of further feed-through from policy stimulus to the real economy and signs of some partial form of US-China trade truce have all given rise to a more bullish China sentiment,” said Jasslyn Yeo, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.
With Wall Street providing a weak lead, Asian equities were mixed in early trade. Hong Kong, Singapore, Wellington, and Manila each dipped 0.1 percent, while Shanghai was barely moved.
Tokyo finished the morning 0.6 percent higher while Sydney added 0.6 percent, Seoul gained 0.2 percent and Taipei was slightly higher.
The business reporting season gets underway Friday in the United States and observers will be looking for a read of the corporate landscape in the first three months of the year. The firms’ forecasts will be pored over but overall expectations for the quarter are low.
Pakistan ‘always ready’ for dialogue with India: Qureshi
BISHKEK: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called upon India to sit on negotiating table with Pakistan for the sake of regional peace when a new government takes office in New Delhi after the general election.
In an interview, he said war always brought destruction and it could not be considered as an option, particularly when both the countries are nuclear powers.
Qureshi regretted that Kashmir is burning as India is trying to suppress the voice of Kashmiris through military presence and its black laws.
He, however, said the voice of Kashmiris cannot be suppressed in this modern era of electronic media and internet.
The minister noted that the Europe Commission and the United Nations had categorically stated that Kashmiris were fighting for their right to self-determination.
He said Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav had confessed that he was involved in subversive activities in Pakistan. “India wanted his release but he would be tried according to Pakistan’s laws.”
Book on China’s digital rural dev. strategy
BEIJING: The Outline of the Digital Rural Development Strategy, which was jointly issued by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council, has been published by the People’s Publishing House.
The booklet is now available at Xinhua Bookstore outlets across China.
Europe’s scrutiny results prove Huawei “innocent”?
BEIJING: The results of Europe’s scrutiny on products by China’s Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. have proven the company’s “innocence,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Monday.
Spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks in response to German media reports that years of scrutiny by Britain, Germany and the European Union (EU) have found no obvious “backdoors” in Huawei products, while security loopholes are often spotted in products made by Cisco of the United States, as evidenced by ten “backdoor” incidents exposed since 2013.
“We’d like to see the U.S. comment on the findings,” Lu said at a press briefing, adding that since the “Prism gate” incident, the U.S. has remained silent over evidence alleging its illegal practices of cyber attacks and thefts.
For the purpose of gaining competitive advantages, the United States, judging others using its own standards, has resorted to smearing tactics against other countries’ enterprises without providing convincing evidence, he said.
“The conclusions of Europe’s scrutiny have proven Huawei innocent, and showed the U.S. suppression against other countries’ enterprises with state power is unjustified,” Lu added