© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Passersby are reflected on a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo
By Andrew Galbraith
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian stocks jumped on Friday, lifted by White House comments that suggested the possibility of an imminent trade deal between Washington and Beijing, which revived hopes that their tariff war may be nearing an end.
However, investor sentiment remains fragile after weak data from China reinforced concerns about the global economy and amid increasing caution about false signs of progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks.
The buoyant mood looked set to extend to Europe, where pan-region rose 0.57% to 3,705, German climbed 0.53% to 13,253.5, and futures inched up 0.36% to 7,322.
U.S. S&P 500 e-mini stock futures also rose, adding 0.35% to 3,107.8 after the finished at a record closing high on Thursday.
Providing a fillip to investor confidence in early Asian trade, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Washington was getting close to a trade agreement with China.
That helped to lift MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.57%. Japan’s added 0.7% and Australian shares gained 0.87%.
Chinese blue-chip shares, in contrast, struggled to hold gains after rising as much as 0.23% earlier in the day. The CSI300 index was last down 0.45%.
In Hong Kong, where anti-government protesters paralyzed parts of the financial hub for a fifth day on Friday, the gained 0.15%, but was on track for its worst weekly performance in nearly four months.
Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital in Sydney, likened regional markets’ bullish reaction to positive trade news to being in a relationship with an alcoholic, driven by entrenched hopes for recovery.
“Markets want to believe that there will be some sort of resolution to this issue, some sort of lasting truce at least, even