Asian markets end week on a positive note


Hong Kong

Asian equities rose Friday as investors, still buoyed by the China-US trade deal, turned their focus to earnings season and the global outlook, while they were also cheered by data indicating China’s economy appears to be stabilising.
Apart from last week’s blip caused by the US assassination of Iran’s top general, markets have enjoyed a strong start to the new decade, building on the rally of late 2019.
The gains have been fanned by the “phase one” trade agreement as well as signs of improvement in worldwide economies, lower interest rates, government stimulus and easing Brexit concerns.
And with the prospect of a healthy batch of company reports, there are hopes for further advances.
“It’s very hard to be bearish here,” Linda Duessel, at Federated Investors Management, told Bloomberg TV. “We could have really good earnings surprises to the upside” as more profit reports roll in, she said.
All three main indexes on Wall Street ended at record highs Thursday, boosted by the Senate’s approval of a new North American free-trade deal, while Google parent Alphabet joined Apple and Microsoft to become a trillion-dollar firm for the first time.
The positive energy funnelled through to Asia, where Hong Kong gained 0.6 percent, Tokyo ended 0.5 percent higher, Shanghai rose 0.1 percent and Sydney added 0.3 percent.—AFP