Asia set to surge on trade hopes, pound jumps on exit polls

By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian share markets were looking to steam higher on Friday amid reports a last-gasp trade deal had been struck that would avert new U.S. tariffs on China, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party looked to have won a clear majority in the UK elections

Reuters December 13, 2019 05:06:35 IST
Asia set to surge on trade hopes, pound jumps on exit polls

Asia set to surge on trade hopes pound jumps on exit polls

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian share markets were looking to steam higher on Friday amid reports a last-gasp trade deal had been struck that would avert new U.S. tariffs on China, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party looked to have won a clear majority in the UK elections.

Sterling surged 2.3% in early Asian trade to $1.3467 to hit its highest since mid-2018, and reached levels on the euro not visited since mid-2016.

A wave of trade relief overnight had already lifted Wall Street to record highs while hammering safe-haven sovereign bonds and the Japanese yen.

Exit polls suggesting the ruling right-wing Conservatives could gain a commanding 368 seats in Britain's Parliament seemed to settle another uncertainty and added to the cheer.

Early Friday, Nikkei futures were up 1.4% and pointing to a similar gain for the cash index <.N225>. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 climbed 0.8%.

Sentiment had soared on reports the United States has reached a "phase-one" trade deal in principle with China, and President Donald Trump had signed off on it.

Wall Street celebrated the news with record highs. The Dow <.DJI> ended Thursday up 0.79%, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 0.86% and the Nasdaq <.IXIC> 0.73%.

Bonds sold off sending yields on U.S. 10-year Treasuries up 10 basis points to 1.89%.

Other safe harbours also took a beating, with the yen sliding across the board. The dollar jumped further to 109.49 yen having risen 0.7% overnight.

The dollar fared less well elsewhere as the pound and the euro both benefited from relief over the UK exit polls. The euro added 0.4% to $1.1166 , while the dollar dipped on a basket of currencies to 96.911 <.DXY>.

The dollar also lost out to the Chinese yuan to hit an 18-week low as any truce would be a boon for the export-heavy economy. The dollar was last at 6.9432 yuan having shed a steep 1.2% overnight.

Christine Lagarde had struck an upbeat tone on the economy in her first news conference as head of the European Central Bank on Thursday and promised a new style of leadership as she outlined a sweeping one-year review of the bank's workings.

Spot gold eased to $1,469.52 per ounce amid the general the shift from safe havens.

Oil prices rallied on hopes a trade deal would support global growth and thus demand. [O/R]

Brent crude futures rose 64 cents to $64.36, while U.S. crude added 46 cents to $59.22 a barrel.

(Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Turkey, Greece to resume suspended talks over disputed waters on Jan. 25
World

Turkey, Greece to resume suspended talks over disputed waters on Jan. 25

By Tuvan Gumrukcu and Renee Maltezou ANKARA/ATHENS (Reuters) - Turkey and Greece will resume long-suspended exploratory talks over territorial claims in the Mediterranean Sea that brought them close to conflict last year, on Jan.

U.S. House likely to consider Trump impeachment on Wednesday
World

U.S. House likely to consider Trump impeachment on Wednesday

By Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives expects to begin considering a second impeachment of Donald Trump on Wednesday, a top Democrat said on Monday after the president was formally accused of inciting insurrection ahead of last week's storming of the Capitol

Exclusive: Pentagon presses ahead with Afghanistan troop drawdown despite law barring it
World

Exclusive: Pentagon presses ahead with Afghanistan troop drawdown despite law barring it

By Jonathan Landay and Idrees Ali WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military has not halted a U.S