Hong Kong shares jump after Trump tweets on China's ZTE - InfoNews

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Hong Kong shares jump after Trump tweets on China's ZTE

People walk past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange Monday, May 14, 2018. Asian shares were mostly higher Monday, with Hong Kong shares surging after President Donald Trump said he wanted to help a sanctioned Chinese tech giant, signaling a possible improvement in U.S.-China relations. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
May 13, 2018 - 11:22 PM

HONG KONG - Asian shares were mostly higher Monday, with Hong Kong shares surging after President Donald Trump said he wanted to help a sanctioned Chinese tech giant, signalling a possible improvement in U.S.-China relations.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 per cent to 22,873.61 while South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.1 per cent to 2,475.47. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.1 per cent to 31,463.63 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China added 0.2 per cent to 3,168.845. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.3 per cent to 6,129.00. Taiwan shares rose but Southeast Asian indexes were mixed as Malaysian shares resumed trading after last week's election. The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI rose 0.4 per cent to 1,854.52.

TRUMP ON CHINA: In a surprise overture to Beijing, Trump tweeted that he wanted to help Chinese smartphone and telecom gear maker ZTE "get back into business, fast." The company's Hong Kong-traded shares have been suspended since U.S. authorities banned it last month for seven years from importing U.S. components in a case involving illegal exports to North Korea and Iran and its shares. The news helped other Chinese tech-related shares in Hong Kong like internet company Tencent and computer maker Lenovo. It was also seen as a good sign ahead of a further round of trade talks between the two countries, with China's top economic adviser Liu He travelling to the U.S. later this week.

ANALYST VIEW: "It suggests that despite all the initial bluster, the current administration is prepared to take a pragmatic view on decisions," Robert Carnell, ING's chief economist, said in a commentary. "This raises some further hope in terms of additional trade talks over the coming months, with China's Liu He visiting Washington this week.

MALAYSIAN MARKETS: Malaysian markets reopened after a public holiday following the surprise election victory by 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad. Shares of regional budget airline AirAsia fell as much as 13 per cent early Monday after the carrier's chief Tony Fernandes apologized for supporting defeated Prime Minister Najib Razak. By early afternoon they were down 4 per cent. The benchmark index also rebounded after opening lower, gaining 0.4 per cent, while Malaysia's currency dipped in a knee-jerk reaction to uncertainties over the change in government.

WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks finished mostly higher on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.4 per cent to 24,831.17. The S&P 500 index added 0.2 per cent to 2,727.72, and had its best weekly gain since early March with an increase of 2.4 per cent. The Nasdaq composite dipped less than 0.1 per cent to 7,402.88.

ENERGY: Oil futures slipped. Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 27 cents to $70.43 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 66 cents to settle at $70.70 a barrel on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 41 cents to close at $76.71.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.33 yen from 109.36 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1972 from $1.1942.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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