Asian markets gain as investors pin hopes on U.S.-China trade talks

Asian stocks rose Tuesday following a listless day on Wall Street as investors looked ahead to U.S.-Chinese trade talks.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 NIK, +2.65%   rose 2.6% and the Shanghai Composite Exchange SHCOMP, +0.72%   added 0.7%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, +0.16%   was 0.2% higher and Seoul’s Kospi SEU, +0.53%   gained 0.4%. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 XJO, +0.29%   advanced 0.4% and New Zealand NZ50GR, +0.77%  , Taiwan Y9999, +0.81%   and Malaysia FBMKLCI, -0.15%   also rose.

Among individual stocks, Toyota 7203, +2.14%   and Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing 9983, +3.08%   rose in Tokyo trading. Tech stocks surged in South Korea, with Samsung 005930, +2.33%  , SK Hynix 000660, +2.70%   and LG Electronics 066570, +3.90%   advancing. CSPC Pharmaceutical 1093, +5.30%   and Sino Biopharmaceutical 2922, +4.92%   surged in Hong Kong, while bank stocks continued to rise in Australia.

On Wall Street, gains for industrial companies, banks and energy stocks outweighed losses elsewhere. Small-company stocks fared better as investors shifted focus away from the tail end of a strong corporate earnings season to U.S.-Chinese trade talks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.21%   fell 0.2% to 25,053.11. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.07%   rose 0.1% to 2,709.80. The Nasdaq composite COMP, +0.13%   added 0.1% to 7,307.90.

Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin will lead a delegation to Beijing on Thursday for talks aimed at resolving a tariff war over American complaints about Chinese technology ambitions. The dispute threatens to chill global economic growth. The talks are the last scheduled high-level meeting before an agreement by both sides to suspend further punitive action against each other’s goods expires March 1.

Traders were watching negotiations in Washington aimed at averting another government shutdown. Democrats and the GOP said Monday night they had reached an agreement

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