Asia shares rise on optimism about easing COVID restrictions

Jul 4, 2022, 9:17 PM | Updated: 9:43 pm
A woman wearing a face mask walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index ...

A woman wearing a face mask walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index in Hong Kong, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Asian shares advanced Monday across the board as buying set in after the lull of a U.S. national holiday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares advanced Monday across the board as buying set in after the lull of a U.S. national holiday.

Analysts said the optimism may be driven by expectations the U.S. may decide to cut Chinese tariffs, a welcome move that would also help tame inflation.

China’s Commerce Ministry said Tuesday that Vice Premier Liu He spoke with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about coordinating economic policy between the two biggest economies and maintaining the stability of supply chains.

In a statement, it also said the Chinese side “expressed its concern over issues such as the removal of additional tariffs and sanctions imposed by the United States on China and fair treatment of Chinese companies.” The two sides agreed to continue their discussions, it said.

Investors also have been encouraged by the lifting of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic across the region, including in Japan, which had been booming with tourists from abroad ahead of the pandemic.

“The quiet economic calendar yesterday brings sentiments to focus on the single relief headline of a potential US tariff-easing decision, which could run the risks of a sharp paring back in speculative bullish bets in the event of any inaction,” in taming inflation,” Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a commentary.

But risks remain because of inflation and slowing economic activity in some countries. A resurgence in COVID-19 infections in Europe, the U.S. and parts of Asia is also looming, bringing the threat of a reversion to pandemic precautions.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added nearly 1.0% in morning trading to 26,404.90. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3% to 6,632.00. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.8% to 2,342.24. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.8% to 21,997.04, while the Shanghai Composite inched up 0.1% to 3,409.95.

Market players are also closely watching for an interest rate decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia. It is expected to raise its key rate by 50 basis-points. Minutes of the latest policy meeting of the Federal Reserve are also due out on Wednesday and could bring hints on future policy.

Global investors have been worried about surging inflation and the possibility that higher interest rates could bring on a recession in some economies. U.S. trading was closed Monday for Independence Day.

The futures for the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 were both up 0.4% early Tuesday.

Shares ended last week with a rally, with the S&P 500 surging 1.1%. The Dow gained 1% and the Nasdaq rose 0.9%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gained 1.2%.

In the first half of this year, the S&P 500 had its worst performance since the first six months in 1970. It’s now down 20.2% from the peak it set at the beginning of this year.

The risk of a recession is simmering as the U.S. Federal Reserve aggressively hikes interest rates. The Fed is raising rates to purposefully slow economic growth to help cool inflation, but could potentially go too far and bring on a recession.

In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz gathered top employer and labor union representatives at his Berlin office Monday to seek ways of addressing the impact of rising prices while preventing a spiral of inflation in Europe’s biggest economy.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude surged $1.87 to $110.30 a barrel. It gained $2.67 on Friday to $108.43 a barrel. Trading was closed Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 3 cents to $113.47 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged up to 136.15 Japanese yen from 135.69 yen. The euro cost $1.0434, up from $1.0423.

___

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This 2014 illustration made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention depict...
Associated Press

Polio detected in NYC’s sewage, suggesting virus circulating

NEW YORK (AP) — The polio virus has been found in New York City’s wastewater in another sign that the disease, which hadn’t been seen in the U.S. in a decade, is quietly spreading among unvaccinated people, health officials said Friday. The presence of the poliovirus in the city’s wastewater suggests likely local circulation of […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Paraguay's Vice President Hugo Velazquez smiles during "Te Deum" at the Cathedral in Asuncio...
Associated Press

US places Paraguay vice president on corruption list

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Paraguay Vice President Hugo Velázquez Moreno was included on a U.S. corruption list for his alleged involvement in offering bribes to a public official, U.S. Ambassador Marc Ostfield said Friday morning. The news rocked Paraguay’s political world not only due to Moreno’s role in President Mario Abdo Benítez’s administration but also […]
8 hours ago
Lebanese soldiers stand guard outside a bank where an armed man has taken hostages, in Beirut, Leba...
Associated Press

Beirut bank standoff exposes desperation of economic crisis

BEIRUT (AP) — A judge ordered a gunman who took up to 10 hostages at a Beirut bank to force the release of his trapped savings to stay behind bars Friday, apparently a bid to prevent copycats as desperation deepens over Lebanon’s economic meltdown. A few dozen relatives of Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein briefly closed a […]
8 hours ago
Volunteers help clean up dirt and debris off of the main street in downtown Fleming-Neon, Ky., on F...
Associated Press

FEMA faces criticism for response as flood death count grows

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear called out the Federal Emergency Management Agency for denying too many requests for assistance in flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky, where the number of people who died as a result of the disaster has risen to 39. The official death count rose Thursday when an additional death was counted in […]
8 hours ago
FILE- In this April 15, 2018, file photo, the company logo hangs on the side of a showroom at a Hyu...
Associated Press

Kia/Hyundai seat belt pretensioners under investigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation has opened a query into seat belt pretensioners on certain 2020-2022 Kia/Hyundai vehicles, saying that they may rupture or explode. A seat belt pretensioner is a part of the seat belt system that locks the seat belt in place during a crash. The ODI said […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Supporters of a proposal that would add South Carolina to a list of states calling for a U.S...
Associated Press

GOP spends big in state-level effort to change Constitution

DENVER (AP) — The fliers piled up in mailboxes in central South Dakota like snow during a high-plains blizzard: “Transgender Sex Education in Schools?” one asked. “Vote Against Sex Ed Radical Mary Duvall for State Senate.” The mailers were part of a $58,000 campaign against the five-term Republican lawmaker, an enormous sum of money in […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Asia shares rise on optimism about easing COVID restrictions