HONG KONG (AFP) - Asian markets rose yesterday, tracking gains on Wall Street following a report that the United States could delay its plan to hit Mexico with tariffs.
The threats against Mexico have intensified anxiety among investors, who were already rattled by the seemingly endless US-China trade war.
But US stocks enjoyed a bounce Thursday after Bloomberg News reported that Washington could push back its plan to impose tariffs on Mexico on June 10 to allow more time for talks on illegal immigration.
Upbeat comments from Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who said the talks with US officials had yielded progress, added to the positive mood.
Export-dependent Mexico has been scrambling to stem the flow of Central American migrants to the US - deploying troops along its border with Guatemala, blocking a new caravan and freezing the bank accounts of suspected human traffickers in a bid to appease Washington.
“The slightly better tone to the Mexico immigration negotiations has seen all US major equity indices end the day in positive territory,” Rodrigo Catril, strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a commentary.
Tokyo closed 0.5 percent higher yesterday. Sydney jumped 1.0 percent and Seoul edged up 0.2 percent while Singapore climbed 0.4 percent. Markets in Hong Kong and mainland China were closed for a public holiday.
European markets made modest gains in early trade, with London and Paris rising 0.5 percent while Frankfurt was up 0.4 percent.
Amid mounting concern for the health of the global economy, central bankers have taken a dovish stance to head off a recession.
The European Central Bank announced on Thursday that it would extend its key interest rates for the eurozone currently at historic lows -- for at least the next six months.
The signals from the ECB have brought relief to investors as the eurozone battles rising worries about growth and inflation.
The trade tensions have lowered overall growth forecasts, with no date set for negotiations to resolve the US-China spat.
“The US-China dispute will drag on, with the next round of talks unclear, with a chance of a meeting of the two leaders in Japan as part of the G20 at the end of June,” said OANDA senior market analyst Alfonso Esparza, adding that the summit could yield “good news”.
“Then again, we have been here before, where an agreement was within reach, only to be snatched away at the last second,” he added.