Asian stocks closed mostly higher on Wednesday after comments from White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow gave rise to new hopes for a de-escalation of the U.S.-China trade dispute.
President Donald Trump remains open to a deal with China and the upcoming G20 summit offers “an opportunity to break through what has been disappointing discussions” in recent months, Kudlow told reporters on Tuesday.
Traders also looked ahead to a speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell later in the day and the minutes from the Fed’s Nov. 7-8 meeting due on Thursday for additional clues on the interest rate outlook.
On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida reaffirmed the need for further rate hikes, but cautioned the tightening path would be data dependant.
China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 1.05 percent to close at 2,601.74 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended up 1.33 percent at 26,682.56 as investors held out hopes for a de-escalation of Sino-U.S. trade tensions.
Japanese shares rose sharply to extend gains for a fourth consecutive session. The Nikkei average climbed 224.62 points or 1.02 percent to 22,177.02 points, marking the highest level since Nov. 12. The broader Topix index closed 0.58 percent higher at 1,653.66.
Index heavyweight Fast Retailing soared 3.6 percent, Fanuc advanced 1.4 percent and SoftBank added 1 percent. A cheaper yen helped lift exporters, with Canon, Panasonic and Sony rising 1-2 percent.
Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma jumped 18.3 percent to reach its highest level since 1990 after the drugmaker said it had resolved all the disputes underlying its patent infringement lawsuit for its depression drug Latuda.
Chat app operator Line Corp climbed 2.7 percent to extend Tuesday’s rally after it teamed up with Tencent Holdings to offer mobile payment services.
Australian markets ended little changed as commodity prices fell broadly on concerns about a