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  • Risk appetite continues to recover through Asian equity indexes, erasing losses from the trade war build-up.
  • China equities are stepping into bull territory, but remain muted in their gains, and the major indexes remain steeply in bear territory for 2018.

Asian stocks are in the green again for Friday, though Chinese indexes are notably more restrained as US-China trade tensions remain tight and close to the surface, but broad market risk sentiment has been improving steadily.

The US has threatened further tariffs against China after last Friday’s reciprocal tariffs saw neither side willing to back down from their current game of brinkmanship, and equities through Asia were knocked further back as traders grapple with the potential for further tariffs on another $200 billion USD worth of Chinese import goods.

China’s trade surplus with the US hit a record $28.97 billion in June as businesses rushed to beat US tariffs to markets, and a decline in China’s imports helped to push China’s reported Trade Balance into record highs; with US President Donald Trump actively seeking to reduce China’s trade surplus with the US, the data point is sure to peak tensions in the upcoming US session.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index has surged 2.04% for Friday, with Tokyo’s Topix index up 1.3%, while China equities remain muted but still in the green, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index up 0.53% on the day and Shanghai’s CSDI 300 index up 0.4%. Australia’s ASX 200 index is nearly flat at 0.03%, while the MSCI broad Asia-Pacific index is positive for the dat  at 0.2%.

Nikkei 225 levels to watch

Japan’s major Nikkei index has peaked at a two-week high of 22,700.0 for Friday, and bulls will be looking to push the index into June’s highs at the key 23,000.0 level, while support is pricing in at the last swing high at 22,325.0, with the week’s low sitting at 21,760.0.