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Hong Kong: Stocks ends tough year with gains after Trump hails trade progress

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The Hang Seng shrugged off disappointing Chinese economic data Monday to end a shortened trading day up more than one per cent at 25,845.70.

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong ended a tough year on a positive note Monday, with the Hang Seng posting strong gains after US President Donald Trump hailed "big progress" on resolving Washington's trade war with Beijing.

In light holiday trading with Tokyo and Shanghai closed, stocks in the south China financial hub were buoyed by Mr Trump's upbeat assessment on prospects for ending the tariff conflict between the world's two biggest economies, which has rattled markets globally.

Key Asian markets have limped towards the end of the year in bear market territory, with Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index rounding out 2018 with its first annual loss since 2011 and Shanghai becoming the worst-performing major stock market in the world.

Overall, global stocks are set for their worst year since 2008.

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Market voices on:

"There were very few safe havens which worked this year," said Jason Low, senior investment strategist with DBS Group Holdings' wealth-management unit.

But the Hang Seng shrugged off disappointing Chinese economic data Monday to end a shortened trading day up more than one per cent at 25,845.70.

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