Stock prices mixed as trade conflict eases

Stock prices were mixed as trade conflict between the U.S. and China eases

Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday due to lack of triggers. While China’s factory inflation continued to be slow for the fifth month in a row, the consumer price index ended a four-year high. In Europe, after ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny indicated that the bond buying scheme would be scaled down by the end of this year, the euro was near its two-year high.

China’s Shanghai Composite index was up half a percent at 3,207, a day after President Xi Jinping offered to further open up markets to foreign business.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was also rising half a percent, led by energy and technology stocks after oil prices soared and Facebook Chief Mark Zuckerberg apologised to U.S. lawmakers for a privacy scandal.

Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.2 percent, giving up early gains as the dollar held near two-week lows on improved risk appetite as trade tensions between the U.S. and China lessened.

SoftBank shares surged nearly 5 percent after reports of resumption of possible merger talks between its Sprint telecoms company and T-Mobile US.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 index was down 0.3 percent while South Korea’s Kospi average was marginally higher.

U.S. stocks surged overnight following comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping which eased trade tensions, oil prices skyrocketed and Facebook shares surged following CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress apologising for the privacy scandal that hit the social media giant recently.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.8 percent, Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.1 percent and the S&P 500 advanced 1.7 percent.

China’s stance on trade tensions with the U.S. and its willingness to open up its economy helped European markets reach their highest level in about a month on Tuesday.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.8 percent. The German DAX rallied 1.1 percent, France’s CAC 40 index rose 0.8 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 1 percent.

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