TOKYO Asian shares rallied to an 18-month peak on Friday, as investors cheered upbeat Chinese trade data and strong gains on Wall Street after U.S. President Donald Trump promised to unveil a major tax announcement to lower the burden on businesses.
The mood was expected to carry over into European trading, with financial spreadbetters predicting opening gains for Britain’s FTSE, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC.
China’s January exports rose 7.9 percent from a year earlier, while imports jumped 16.7 percent, beating expectations and getting the economy off to a strong start in 2017 even as Asia braces for a rise in U.S. protectionism under President Donald Trump.
On the political front, Trump seemed to change tack and said he would honor the longstanding “one China” policy during a phone call with China’s leader, a major diplomatic boost for Beijing which brooks no criticism of its claim to neighboring Taiwan.
China’s strong trade “is related to the global pick-up in growth in…