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Asian stock prices Gain on ‘risk-friendly’ China’s Yuan fixing

Digital Desk , Reuters : Asian shares extended gains on Wednesday, as investors saw China’s yuan fixing offering a modest olive branch to Washington amid a resurgence in trade tensions, while oil ended its winning streak on oversupply fears and weak demand.

China’s central bank set the yuan CNY= at a broadly neutral midpoint, analysts said, helping take the focus off the exchange rate, a typically contentious point in Sino-U.S. ties. That helped mainland stocks claw back initial losses on their first day of trade since breaking for a holiday last week.

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Wall Street futures turned around in afternoon trading, with E-minis for the S&P500 ESc1 rising 0.5%.

European futures pointed to a weak start after a court decision challenging German participation in Europe’s stimulus program fanning worries about a bumpy recovery.

Futures for the Eurostoxx 50 STXEc1 were flat while those for Germany’s DAX FDXc2 were off 0.1%. London’s FTSE futures FFIc1 eased 0.1%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS climbed 0.8% in relatively light volumes with Japanese markets closed for a public holiday.

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China, opening for the first time since Thursday, reversed early losses sending the blue-chip index .CSI300 up 0.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index .HSI climbed 1.5% while South Korea’s KOSPI jumped 1.76%.

“The People’s Bank of China went a long way to extinguishing one major trade war hotspot by setting the yuan reference rate on a more risk-friendly level,” said Stephen Innes, chief markets strategist at AxiCorp.

“USD/CNH dropped about 200 pips on the stable fix, and a recovery in risk sentiment ensued, and there was no follow-through on U.S. President Trump’s threat to China.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly taken aim at China as the source of the pandemic and warned that it would be held to account.

On Tuesday, he urged China to be transparent about the origins of the novel coronavirus that has killed more than a quarter of a million people worldwide since it started in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

(Read full story at Reuters)

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