Investing.com – Asian stocks rose in morning trade on Thursday despite lingering concerns around the U.S. and Chinese trade war.
Markets continue to deal with the possibility of escalation in the dispute between the two nations after the Trump administration threaten to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods on Wednesday. The 10% tariffs will not take effect immediately but will undergo a two-month review process.
In response, China's commerce ministry said in a statement released around midday on Wednesday that it was "shocked" by the latest U.S. trade action and urged international community to work together against the trade bullying, while calling the actions "completely unacceptable".
The news came just days after tariffs from the U.S. and China on $34 billion in products from each country took effect last week.
Overnight, U.S. stocks fell on the back of the latest developments in the ongoing trade dispute: The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.9%, the S&P 500 slid 0.7% and the NASDAQ Composite edged down by 0.56%.
The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were 1.3% and 1.6% higher by 9:40PM ET (01:40 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.3%.
Reports on Wednesday suggested that Beijing is ready to “hit back in other ways,” and is considering options including delaying approvals of mergers and acquisitions involving U.S. companies, holding up licenses for U.S. firms and “delaying and ramping up” inspections of American products at borders.
Chinese telecom company ZTE Corp (HK:0763) received some attention as the Trump administration said the company has signed an escrow agreement with the Commerce Department and its ban will be lifted as soon as the company deposits $400 million in escrow.
“Once the monitor is selected and brought on board, the three-pronged compliance regime -- the new 10-year suspended denial order, the $400 million escrow, and the monitor -- will be in place,” Commerce said on Wednesday in a statement. “The ZTE settlement represents the toughest penalty and strictest compliance regime the Department has ever imposed in such a case. It will deter future bad actors and ensure the Department is able to protect the United States from those that would do us harm.”
Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.2%, while South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.3%. The Bank of Korea's meeting concludes Thursday, with economists expecting officials to hold their key rate at 1.5%.
Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.8%.