Asian markets rally after US delays some tariffs on China

Asian stocks rallied a bit Wednesday after the United States decided to postpone some tariffs on Chinese goods, fueling hopes for a trade deal between the two countries.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index eked out a slight gain of 0.1%, with tech stocks leading the way. Tencent advanced 1.8% ahead of earnings. It reported a 35% net profit in the last quarter after market close.

Smartphone component manufacturer AAC Technologies jumped 1.1%. Sunny Optical Technology soared 8.7%, after reporting a 20% increase in its first-half net profit Tuesday.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.4%.

But both indexes pared earlier gains after new data about China’s retail sales and industrial production came in worse than expected.

Industrial production rose 4.8% in July, the lowest growth in 17 years. Analysts polled by Reuters expected a 5.8% rise.

Retails sales grew 7.6% in July, compared with an estimated 8.6% increase.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 1%. South Korea’s Kosipi gained 0.7%. Australia’s S<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <><>&P/ASX 200 added 0.4%./ppThe Chinese yuan also rallied on the onshore market, after China’s central bank guided the currency higher for the first time in more than a week./ppOn Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China a href=”” target=”_blank”issued 30 billion yuan worth of central bank bills/a in Hong Kong — part of a plan to a href=”” target=”_blank”shore up its currency/a./ppThe bills drain yuan out of the market and push up interest rates, making it more expensive for investors to bet on a weaker currency./ppOn Wednesday, the yuan gained 0.4% from Tuesday’s levels in the onshore market, trading at around 7.02 per US dollar in mainland China./ppBut in the offshore market, where the yuan moves more freely, it traded weaker than it did Tuesday -—strong /strongat around 7.04 yuan per dollar./ppHere are some other big moves at 6:30 p.m. Hong Kong time:/ppCathay Pacific Group rebounded 2.8% in Hong Kong. The airline carrier’s stock has been heavily hit by the mass protests. Stocks in Asia took a positive lead from Wall Street. US markets a href=”” target=”_blank”soared Tuesday. /aThe Dow rose about 373 points, or 1.4%. The S <>P 500 and Nasdaq gained 1.5% and 2% respectively./p