Asian stocks rebound as U.S. tariffs on China take effect

SuperDry’s stocks rise off the back of an annoucement of a special 25p dividend

Asian stocks rebounded on Friday despite the introduction of U.S. tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods in what Beijing called the "largest trade war" in economic history.

In total, nine out of the world's 10 worst-performing stock indexes this week were from the region, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index and Shanghai Composite Index sinking 4 percent or more through Thursday's close.

Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on some $450 billion of Chinese goods - virtually all of China's exports to the United States - as he seeks to advance his "America First" protectionist agenda. "Investors know what's going to happen and it has already been priced in", said Li Liuyang, senior foreign exchange analyst at China Merchants Bank in Shanghai, referring to the yuan market.

Despite the rebound on Friday, the Shanghai Composite Index this week plunged 3.52 percent, ending the first seven weeks in a row of drops since 2011.

"The Trump administrations trade war is finally upon us", said Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific head of trading at OANDA.

Auto giants led the gains - buoyed by the headlines from Berlin - and tech stocks like Google parent company Alphabet and Facebook were also higher. China is expected to strike back with tariffs on a similar amount of USA exports including soybeans. "If this moves off the tit-for-tat battleground into a full out trade war, it will not only threaten market stability but could compromise relations between Washington and Beijing". Upbeat economic data and overnight gains on USA stock markets helped temper concerns, though trading volume was light. Germany's DAX gained less than 0.1 percent to 12,472.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.9 percent to 2,736.61. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1.1 percent to 1,679.48. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, lost 71 cents to $76.68 per barrel in London.

The dollar was roughly flat at 110.61 yen while the euro rose to $1.1717 from $1.1691.

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