Asian stocks and US equity futures edged higher on Friday as the latest reading on China’s economy beat expectations, offering some reassurance to investors concerned about the global growth outlook. The yen fell to its lowest since December.
Chinese equities listed in Hong Kong posted the biggest gains, while Japanese shares were helped by weakness in the currency. An increase in the Caixin manufacturing gauge to a three month high and confirmation that MSCI Inc. will boost the weight of Chinese stocks in its global benchmarks buoyed sentiment.
S&P 500 Index futures pointed to gains after the benchmark closed lower Thursday, while the dollar, Treasuries and the offshore yuan steadied.
After a 16% surge from Christmas through the start of this week, MSCI’s gauge of global equities has been treading water as investors await results from US-China trade negotiations. American officials are preparing a final trade deal that Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping could sign in weeks, people familiar with the matter said, even as a debate continues in Washington over whether to push Beijing for more concessions.
Meantime, geopolitics returned to the fore after tensions between India and Pakistan and the failure of a summit between Kim Jong Un and Trump to achieve a deal between the US and North Korea.
Elsewhere, oil climbed back above $57 a barrel in New York as evidence of OPEC cuts and strengthening economic trends in the US signaled tightening supplies.