Most of the Asian stock indices are trading higher on Friday except for Japan’s Nikkei and Topix, even after the United States increased import tariffs on Chinese goods, which took effect from 12.01 Eastern on Friday. However, the good news for Chinese exporters is that the tariff hike won’t be employed on goods that have already left Chinese ports before Friday’s deadline. This gives the US and Chinese negotiators anywhere between 2-4 weeks to complete negotiations and arrive at a mutually amenable solution to the ongoing trade war that has rattled the global economy just when all the key economic indicators were returning to normalcy. With talks already underway in the US on Thursday and officials from both sides meeting again today, markets are hoping for a speedy resolution after the world’s two largest economies were making steady progress until late last week.
Markets are also higher on the back of short covering before the weekend as investors generally prefer to remain on the sidelines rather than being caught on the wrong side of the markets on Monday, especially with uncertainty near all-time peaks.