Asian Markets Recover as Trade War Concerns Fade

Val Kensington - Author

Mar. 8 2018, Published 8:04 a.m. ET

Economic calendar

8:30 AM EST – US initial jobless claims

8:30 AM EST – European Central Bank’s press conference

6:30 PM EST – Japan’s household spending (January)

8:30 PM EST – China’s consumer price index (February)

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After declining last week, China’s Shanghai Composite Index (SSE) started this week on a stronger note. The market gained in the first two trading days this week and pulled back on Wednesday amid global trade war concerns. On March 8, the Shanghai Composite Index started the day on a stable note and moved higher as the day progressed.

Improved market sentiment

Increased concerns about President Trump’s plan to impose import tariffs on aluminum and steel weighed on the Shanghai Composite Index on Wednesday. However, the sentiment improved on Thursday amid the chance that key US partners will be exempt from import tariffs. Stronger-than-expected trade balance data added strength to the market. According to the General Administration of Customs, China’s trade balance increased to $33.74 billion in February, which is higher than the expected reading of $0.6 billion.

The market is looking forward to the release of February’s inflation data. The data are scheduled to be released at 8:30 PM EST today. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.51% and closed the day at 3,288.41 on March 8. The SPDR S&P China (GXC) rose 0.12% on March 7.

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Hong Kong

After pulling back on Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index regained strength and surged to one-week high price levels. Comments from the White House on Wednesday triggered hopes of a softer import tariff plan. The possibility that Canada and Mexico might be exempt from the import tariffs improved the market sentiment. On March 8, the Hang Seng Index gained 1.5% and closed the day at 30,660.00. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) fell 0.75% on Wednesday.


Amid decreased concerns about a global trade war, Japan’s Nikkei Index regained strength on Wednesday. The Nikkei Index opened higher on Thursday and closed the day with gains. The market was also supported by strength in the transport, transport equipment, and marine transport sectors. The market is looking forward to the release of January’s household spending data. The data are scheduled to be released at 6:30 PM EST today.

On March 8, the Nikkei Index gained 0.55% and closed the day at 21,370.50. The iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) fell 0.84% on Wednesday.

Next, we’ll discuss how European markets performed in the early hours on March 8.


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