Asian markets gain on renewed optimism about U.S.-China trade deal

Asian shares were rising Thursday amid renewed hopes a U.S. trade deal with China may be nearing, despite tough recent talk from President Donald Trump.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 NIK, +0.80%   gained 0.7% in early trading, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +1.14%   added nearly 1%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, -0.30%   slipped 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, +0.33%   was up 0.4% while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.32%   rose 0.4%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +0.63%  , Singapore STI, +0.51%   and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.52%   advanced.

Among individual stocks, Nippon Steel 5401, +6.61%   jumped in Tokyo trading, while SoftBank 9984, +1.69% ,  Fast Retailing 9983, +0.33%   and Honda 7267, +1.55%   also posted gains. In Hong Kong, Apple component makers Sunny Optical 2382, +3.61%   and AAC 2018, +2.72%  surged, and oil producer CNOOC 883, +1.08%   also rose. Hyundai Motor 005380, -2.46%   sank in South Korea after announcing a $52 billion investment in electric and autonomous cars over the next five years. Beach Energy BPT, +3.90%   and Woodside Petroleum WPL, +1.94%   gained in Australia.

Shares on Wall Street finished higher Wednesday, with the gains snapped a three-day losing streak for the S&P 500. The U.S. market has swung sharply for months on every hint of progress about talks between the world’s largest economies, and Asian regional indexes have tended to reflect those fluctuations.

In the latest development, Bloomberg News reported that U.S. negotiators expect a “Phase 1” trade agreement to be completed before U.S. tariffs are set to rise on Chinese products Dec. 15.

The report came a day after Trump said he wouldn’t mind waiting until after the 2020 elections for a deal, a remark that officials reportedly called off the cuff but nevertheless sent markets skidding.


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