(July 5): Investors cheered at the start of July, after the US and China called for another truce while trade talks resumed. There was little in terms of concrete details. US President Donald Trump agreed to hold off on his threats to impose tariffs on the remaining US$300 billion ($406.9 billion) or so of Chinese imports and also ease restrictions on Huawei Technologies. In return, China agreed to an unspecified increase in the purchase of US farm products. Talks could still stall, but the truce effectively averted a worst-case scenario, at least for now.
The improved sentiment gave global stocks a reason to consolidate gains, delivering one of the best 1H returns in years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index hit fresh all-time record highs. Bellwether indices in Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong are sitting on double-digit gains for the year to date.
Bursa Malaysia continues to be the worst-performing market in Asia. The FBM KLCI remains marginally in the red for 2019.