Tue, 19 Jan 2021

Asian markets rally, sterling holds on to gains

Lola Evans
11 Oct 2019, 18:39 GMT+10

SYDNEY, Australia - Stocks in Asia finished the week with a strong rally on Friday, spurred on by hopes of a U.S.-Sino trade deal, notwithstanding talks only resumed on Thursday.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter afterwards to say the first day of talks resulted in a "very, very good negotiation."

"Investors are ready to celebrate any form of a U.S.-China trade deal, even a limited one," FXTM analyst Han Tan was quoted as saying Friday by the Reuters Thomson news agency.

The Australian dollar climbed to a two-week high at 0.6788, the Chinese yuan was consolidating at a 3-week high of 7.0890, while the British pound was holding on to gains following optimism from Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson overnight that a deal on Brexit may yet be possible. The pound was last quoted on Friday in late Asian trade, and early European trading, at 1.2455, however as European traders took over, sterling soared again. In early afternoon trading in Europe the pound hit a high of 1.2707, a near five-cents gain in 24 hours.

Equity markets were considerably stronger. The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed Friday 246.89 points or 1.15% higher at 21,798.87.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was sharply higher, rising 582.88 points or 2.27%, to 26,290.81.

China's Shanghai Composite climbed 25.95 points or 0.88% to 2,973.66.

The Australian All Ordinaries appreciated by 59.00 points or 0.89% to 6,721.90.

The euro was firm at 1.1007. The Japanese yen continued weakening following falls overnight. It was last quoted at 107.92.

The Swiss franc was sharply lower at 0.9972.

The Canadian dollar firmed to 1.3272. The New Zealand dollar rose to 0.6335.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 150.66 points, or 0.57%, at 26,496.67.

The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 18.73 points, or 0.64%, to 2,938.13.

The Nasdaq Composite jumped 47.04 points, or 0.6%, to 7,950.78.

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