Asian equities followed Wall Street higher on Thursday, as investors cheered strong quarterly results from corporate America that have taken away the focus from trade jitters, for now at least. Out of the 55 companies that announced results, 87% managed to beat earnings estimates while only 7% missed the mark. With EPS growth exceeding 22% we are obviously heading towards the best earning season in eight years.
Asian equities fell on Tuesday after crude oil prices tumbled by more than 4.6% during the previous session, following reports that Saudi Arabia has offered additional crude supplies to some of its Asian customers and that the U.S. may release some of its strategic petroleum reserves to bring prices down.
The slight gains in U.S. equities on Monday failed to influence Asian investors as trade fears and the Renminbi’s slide continued to drive risk aversion. This sharp depreciation in the Chinese currency is worrying investors. In August 2015, the U.S. dollar/Canadian dollar (USD/CNY) currency pair appreciated from 6.21 to 6.44, a two-day gain of 3.85%.
It has been an interesting first half for 2018. Economic fundamentals and politics took center stage as both fought for market influence. The Federal Reserve is in tightening mode as growth and inflation trended higher, while the trade war between the U.S. and the rest of the world particularly with China and the E.U. intensified further.
After imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports on its closest allies, the U.S. will be facing enormous criticism at the G7 summit on Friday in Quebec or, as the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire likes to call it, “G6 plus one.”