Stocks in Asia gain on hopes of potential US-China trade deal

Shares in Asia rose on Friday morning as investors watched for more details about a potential trade deal between China and the U.S.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan advanced 0.16% in early trade as shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing, Softbank Group and Fanuc rose, while the Topix index also added 0.15%.

The moves in Tokyo came after data showed that Japanese household spending rose less than expected in February, rising 1.7% in February as compared to the year before, as compared to a median estimate for a 2.1 percent annual increase, Reuters reported.

Over in South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.17%. Shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics gained 0.32% despite the company warning that its first-quarter profits likely dropped almost 60% as compared to a year ago.

Australia’s ASX 200, however, slipped 0.67 percent in early trade as almost all sectors declined.

The stock markets in China and Hong Kong are closed on Friday for a holiday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 166.50 points to close at 26,384.63 and the S&P 500 gained 0.2% to finish its trading day at 2,879.39. The Nasdaq Composite, on the other hand, posted a 0.1% loss and closed at 7,891.78.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump expects to announce the date of a trade summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping later in the day, lifting market sentiment stateside. CNBC later reported, however, that sticking points like enforcement mechanisms on any agreed upon deal remain an issue.

The two economic powerhouses have been locked in an ongoing trade fight, imposing tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other’s goods since 2018, leaving stock markets rattled and raising concerns over the global economy.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against

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