Asia’s main stock benchmarks finished higher Friday, but still mostly logged big losses for the week, as analysts viewed the much-anticipated trade war between the U.S. and China as finally underway.
The Trump administration officially imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports at midnight Eastern Time, and Beijing reportedly had implemented tariffs on some American goods, after earlier looking set to levy duties on the same value of U.S. goods exports.
“Equities in Asia are trading in a sea of green, taking Donald Trump’s trade tariffs against China in their stride,” said Konstantinos Anthis, head of research at ADS Securities, in a note.
“Whether this is a sign of complacency or a suggestion that investors have grown accustomed to this continued spat remains to be seen, but in any case caution is advised.”
Chinese stocks closed higher after a choppy session, erasing part of their weekly drop. Trade-war fears have helped send China’s equity markets to multiyear lows of late.
The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.49% finished up by 0.5% on Friday, paring its weekly drop to 3.5%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, +0.47% rose modestly as well, but lost more than 2% for the week.
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +1.12% gained 1.1% and shed 2.3% for the week.
Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.68% tacked on 0.7% to end 2.3% lower for the week, as Samsung shares 005930, -2.29% dropped 2.3% after forecasting weaker-than-expected second-quarter results.
Australia’s benchmark XJO, +0.91% , which had fallen in seven of nine days before yesterday’s region-leading gains, rose 0.9%. It bucked the week’s negative trend, showing a 1.3% gain for the period.