Asian Shares Hold Steady After Wall Street Recovery

(RTTNews) - Asian stocks were seeing modest gains on Friday, as hopes that the Federal Reserve will raise rates very slowly helped offset concerns that a prolonged trade war between the two countries will significantly slow down global economic growth.

China's Shanghai Composite index was marginally higher and the yuan weakened as U.S.-China tensions remain elevated. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.1 percent at 16,194.

Japan's Nikkei index was up 0.1 percent at 21,529 after U.S. stocks clawed back steep losses to finish on a mixed note overnight.

The dollar weakened against the yen amid lower U.S. yields, and after the release of mixed economic data on private sector employment, initial jobless claims, trade balance and service sector activity. The U.S. jobs report due later in the day is expected to show a healthy labor market.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was rising 0.4 percent, with overall gains capped by losses in the materials sector. Benchmark indexes in South Korea and New Zealand were up 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

U.S. stocks fell overnight as the arrest of a top executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei rekindled trade worries. However, markets ended well off their day's lows after reports that the Fed might consider easing the pace of rate increases.

The Dow fell by nearly 800 points to its lowest intraday level in over a month before ending the day down by just 79.40 points or 0.3 percent at 24,947.67.

The S&P 500 edged down 0.2 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4 percent.

European markets tumbled on Thursday to log their worst single-day loss in 2 1/2-years amid fears of slowing global growth, falling oil prices and skepticism about the potential for a long-term trade agreement between the U.S. and China.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index nosedived 3.1 percent. The German DAX plunged 3.5 percent, France's CAC 40 index plummeted 3.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost 3.2 percent.

U.S. crude futures extended declines in Asian trade after ending down 2.7 percent on Thursday, as OPEC ended talks without a deal on oil production cuts for the first time in nearly five years.

"No, I am not confident. We are still debating the distribution," Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih told reporters after coming out of the meeting.
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