By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Asian stocks mostly saw modest gains on Friday morning, with some indexes reversing earlier losses. However, they were struggling to maintain momentum as yet another U.S. tech stocks selloff on Thursday caused investors to tread with caution.
Japan’s inched up 0.05% 10:51 PM ET (3:51 AM GMT). Data released earlier in the day showed that the , inclusive of oil products but excluding volatile fresh food prices, fell 0.4% in August year-on-year.
South Korea’s gained 0.21%. In Australia, the inched up 0.02% and Hong Kong’s edged down 0.11%. Hong Kong-listed Tencent was one of the gaming companies asked to provide further information about their data-security protocols by the U.S. on Thursday.
China’s edged up 0.10% and the was up 0.20%. Investors were keeping an eye on China-U.S. relations after TikTok buyer Oracle (NYSE:) reached a tentative agreement to terms for its bid for the app’s U.S. operations with the U.S. Treasury Department and TikTok owner ByteDance. Oracle accepted a revised term sheet sent by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday, with the changes reportedly addressing national security concerns related to the transaction.
The Bank of England (BOE) was the latest central bank to hand down its policy decision, saying on Thursday that it was considering negative interest rates in the wake of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, high unemployment rates, and the possibility of a hard Brexit. It also announced a hold on its main stimulus programs over a better-than-expected economic recovery from COVID-19.
Some investors agreed with the BOE approach.
“Delivering net economic stimulus this way absolutely can be done,” ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner told Reuters, in reference to negative interest rates, which are also under consideration by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
“But will prolonged super-low rates stimulate the ‘right’ behaviors from a long-run perspective? That’s a problem for another day,” she added.
However, more stimulus measures are expected across the Pond, after the U.S. Federal Reserve handed down its own policy address on Wednesday, which said that low interest rates would be in place for years to come.
“Fiscal policy needs to really step up,” Perpetual Investment Management Ltd head of investment strategy for multi-asset Matthew Sherwood told Bloomberg.
“Consumer sentiment data and the employment picture still reflect a fragile recovery which needs to be bolstered by higher incomes,” he added.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases continues an ever-continuing climb. The number of global cases topped 30 million as of September 18, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
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