Asia-Pacific equities were on a firmer footing in early trading on Friday as a global sell-off sparked by the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer showed signs of running out of steam.
In Tokyo, the Topix index was 0.3 per cent higher with the energy and financial segments in negative territory. Sydney’s S&P/ASX was up 0.6 per cent. Ahead of the open in Hong Kong, however, Hang Seng futures were down 0.9 per cent.
The region’s major currencies were also steadier. The Japanese yen, which can be a haven during market uncertainty, was basically unmoved at ¥112.68 per dollar. The offshore renminbi, which is not constrained by the same trading band set by Chinese central bankers as its onshore counterpart, firmed 0.1 per cent to Rmb6.8749 per dollar.
The moves came after sharp declines in Asian equities on Thursday led to a broader global sell-off after the arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, fuelled worries over whether the trade war détente, struck by US President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping just days earlier, will last.
Overnight on Wall Street, fresh concerns over the US-China trade dispute hitting global growth helped pull the S&P 500 down as much as 2.9 per cent and back into negative territory for 2018, before a late rally for technology stocks helped the benchmark index pare its early fall.