Asia shares rise on optimism over easing of COVID restrictions | Health & Fitness

By YURI KAGEYAMA – AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks broadly rose Monday as buying began after a break for a national holiday in the United States.

Analysts said the optimism may be fueled by expectations that the United States could decide to cut Chinese tariffs, a welcome move that would also help control inflation.

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

In a statement, it also said the Chinese side “raised concerns over issues such as the removal of additional tariffs and sanctions imposed by the United States on China and the fair treatment of Chinese companies.” he said.

Investors have also been encouraged by the lifting of coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions across the region, including Japan, which had been booming with foreign tourists before the pandemic.

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“Yesterday’s quiet economic calendar has sentiments focused on the only headline for relief from a potential US tariff easing decision. Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a comment.

But risks remain due to inflation and slowing economic activity in some countries. A resurgence in COVID-19 Infections are also looming in Europe, the US and parts of Asia, bringing the threat of a reversal to pandemic precautions.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.9% in afternoon trading at 26,382.38. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.4% to 2,332.32. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.4% to 21,915.99, although the Shanghai Composite reversed course and fell 0.3% to 3,395.72.

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Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7% to 6,655.40 after the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the third time in three consecutive months, changing the cash rate from 0.85% to 1.35%. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s half percentage point increase on Tuesday was the same size as its June increase.

When the bank raised the rate by a quarter percentage point at its monthly board meeting in May, it was the first rate hike in more than 11 years.

Global investors have been concerned about rising inflation and the possibility that higher interest rates could trigger a recession in some economies. American commerce was closed on Monday for Independence Day.

Minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting are due out on Wednesday and could provide clues about future policy.

Dow Industrial and S&P 500 futures were up 0.4% early Tuesday.

Stocks ended last week on a rally, with the S&P 500 rising 1.1%. The Dow Jones 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 of 1970. It is now 20.2% below the high it hit earlier this year.

The risk of a recession looms as the US Federal Reserve aggressively raises interest rates. The Fed is raising rates to purposefully slow economic growth and help cool inflation, but it could go too far and cause a recession.

In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz brought together leading employer and union representatives in his Berlin office on Monday to look for ways to address the impact of rising prices while preventing a spiral of inflation in Europe’s largest economy.

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In energy trading, benchmark US crude rose $2.00 to $110.43 a barrel. It earned $2.67 on Friday at $108.43 a barrel. The store was closed on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 24 cents to $113.74 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar rose to 136.31 Japanese yen from 135.69 yen. The euro cost $1.0446, compared to $1.0423.

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

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