Asian Markets Surge despite China-U.S. Trade Talks Deadlock

Asian markets moved higher on Monday as a combination of geopolitical developments in the region helped sentiment shift.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.35% as shares of Fast Retailing and Softbank Group, the index’s major movers advanced. The Topix was also edging higher in the afternoon.

The upbeat moves follow data that showed Japan’s economic growth in Q1 2019 was better than expected.

According to gross domestic product readings released on Monday, the first quarter saw the Asian country’s economy grow at an annualized 2.1%. The figures beat market expectations, which had put the GDP contraction at 0.2%.

The Japanese yen, a currency perceived by most traders as providing safe-haven, exchanged hands at 110.20 to the dollar. That comes on the heels of trading below the 109.2 level last week.

South Korea’s Kospi added 0.59%, while in Australia, the ASX 200 rose 1.58%. The latter’s upside is attributed to the shock election victory by Australia’s conservative coalition.

The financial subindex in Australia also surged in the afternoon, rising by more than 5%. Commonwealth Bank of Australia shares rose 6.15 %, National Australia Bank jumped 7.61%, while Westpac spiked by 8.38%.

The Australian dollar steadied and was changing hands at $0.6917; this after it had slipped from $0.696 at the end of last week.

In India, the Nifty 50 index rose by more than 1.5% following early exit polls that put Prime Minister Narendra Modi well ahead of rivals in the general election.

The situation was however not so upbeat in China. Mainland China shares dived as the Shanghai Composite declined 0.59% while the Shenzhen component lost 1% in the morning session. The decline was also registered at the Shenzhen composite, which shed 0.885%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index declined 0.43%.

As well as the stalled trade talks, markets in the region have reacted to news that Google-owned by tech company Alphabet- has reacted to the U.S. blacklisting of Huawei by suspending some of its business with the Chinese telecoms giant.