World News

Asian shares outperform global peers in December, but yearly gains lag

(Reuters) – Asian shares gained for the fourth successive month in December as appetite for regional shares improved after the U.S. and China agreed on a preliminary deal to end their 17-month long trade war.

The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares gained 4.2% in December, compared with the month’s gains of about 3.4% for the MSCI’s global share index.

Graphic: Asia-Pacific equities performance in Dec 2019

The United States and China agreed on a deal on Dec. 13 that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for what U.S. officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods. The deal is expected to be signed on Jan 15.

Asia-Pacific shares however, lagged behind global shares in the year and in the last decade.

Graphic: Asia-Pacific equities performance in 2019

Graphic: Asia-Pacific equities performance in last decade

The MSCI’s Asia-Pacific Index gained about 16% in 2019 compared with 24% for the World index.

New Zealand shares lead both 2019 and last decade’s gains in the region. In U.S. dollar terms, local shares gained 30.8% in 2019 and 231% in the last decade.

(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)