Asian markets are shrugging off news that President-elect Donald Trump will seek to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.4 percent to end the day at 22,678, while Shanghai’s SSE gained 0.9 percent to 3,248. Even shares in Tokyo had a positive day despite a magnitude 7.4 striking northeastern Japan- the site of the massive 2011 quake and tsunami– in the early hours of Tuesday. There have only been a few reports of minor injuries from the quake. The Nikkei 225 rounded out the session 0.3 percent higher at 18,163.
In Hong Kong, Global Brands lost 0.9 percent to 1.07 Hong Kong dollars. Chow Tai Fook saw its shares rise 2.7 percent to end at 5.80 Hong Kong dollars. It reported slumping first-half net profit and sales figures on Tuesday. Esprit tanked 3.4 percent to finish at 6.34 Hong Kong dollars.
In Tokyo, Fast Retailing rose 0.98 percent to 40,360 yen. Shiseido fell 0.4 percent to finish at 2,961 yen. Isetan Mitsukoshi inched down 0.16 percent to finish at 1,265 yen. Takashimaya shed 0.4 percent to end at 945 yen.
President-elect Trump has called the TPP “catastrophic” for the U.S. economy and President Barack Obama has suspended efforts to pass the deal before Trump takes office. Trump has threatened to slap a 45 percent tariff on all Chinese imports and there is talk of a possible trade war erupting between China and the United States. Such a development would have repercussions throughout Asia; Japan and South Korea are major trading partners of both China and the United States.
In response, Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken the opportunity to promote China’s proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership- a trade pact between the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus China, Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.