US Futures, Asian Markets Rally As Investors Await ECB Report

The skyline with its banking district and the European Central Bank (ECB) is photographed in Frankfurt, Germany, August 13, 2019.
(Photo: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

Asian share markets and US stock futures were mostly up late Wednesday as traders braced for the European Central Bank's verdict on a new round of interest rates to be implemented later this week.

Investors expect the ECB to push interest further into the red zone when finance officials sit down to tackle key issues on Thursday. Regulators have suggested the central monetary body could set in motion a new system of accounts, which would impose negative rates to a portion of deposits to potentially alleviate some pressures of the banking sector's profitability.

Stocks from big corporate firms in China were down, with the Shenzhen index falling 0.9 percent to around 1,674 while the smaller-cap Shanghai Composite retreated 0.5 percent to about 3,008. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell 1.6 percent during the after-hours session.

Japan's Nikkei was up 0.9 percent while the South Korean Kospi rallied 0.9 percent as the government disclosed it would file a WTO complaint regarding trade curbs initiated by Japan against the country.

In Singapore, the Straits Times rose while Taiwan's benchmark indexes Y9999 and Indonesia's JAKIDX remained unchanged. At the Malaysian FBMKLCI, stocks tumbled 0.2 percent while the Australian S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.1 percent.

In China, finance ministers announced that 16 US goods will be granted tax exemptions and reportedly offered to hike American agricultural orders in exchange for a deferment in tariffs and amending a supply prohibition against Huawei Technologies.

On Wall Street, traders continued to scramble for smaller-firm shares they perceive as being better cushioned from the shockwave brought about by shaky giant economies facing their own financial headwinds. The Dow futures rose nearly 30 points, as futures on the NASDAQ and S& were mixed.

In Europe, shares traded moderately higher late Wednesday as economic tensions and the fallout of a no-Brexit deal have somehow ebbed for the time being.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.5 percent during pre-market dealings, while food and beverage shares plunged 0.6 percent. In Germany, the DAX advanced 0.75 percent, while France's CAC 40 moved up 0.4 percent.

The US market has been making quite a headway for two straight weeks as investors remain upbeat in the health of the economy, despite their souring relations with China.

The trade drama between the two biggest economies in the world has been fanning volatility into the global market. Meanwhile, recent plans for economic discussions to resume next month raised some optimism on Wall Street for a resolution.

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