Asian stocks rise on hopes for US-China trade progress

  • nullFILE- In this Jan. 11, 2019, file photo, trader Joseph Lawler, left, and specialist Mark Otto work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 17.

    nullFILE- In this Jan. 11, 2019, file photo, trader Joseph Lawler, left, and specialist Mark Otto work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 17. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/17/2019 10:30 PM

BEIJING -- Stocks in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo advanced Friday after investors saw signs of possible progress toward settling the U.S.-Chinese tariff war.

KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.7 percent to 2,578.73 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.1 percent to 27,039.00. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 1.3 percent to 20,622.24 and Seoul's Kospi advanced 0.5 percent to 2,118.29. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was 0.5 percent higher at 5,881.00 and benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia also rose.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

US-CHINA TRADE: China announced its economy czar, Vice Premier Liu He, will go to Washington for talks Jan. 30-31 aimed at ending the tariff war sparked by U.S. complaints about Beijing's technology ambitions. Business groups and economists were looking for Liu and his American counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, to take part in talks as a sign lower-level negotiations earlier in Beijing made progress. The Wall Street Journal reported Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was willing to roll back U.S. tariff hikes on Chinese goods, though it said Lighthizer and other officials opposed that.

WALL STREET: Stocks climbed on trade optimism following the report Mnuchin might support a cut in U.S. penalty duties on Chinese imports. Technology, industrial and health care companies gained and makers of chemicals and other basic materials jumped. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.8 percent to 2,635.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.7 percent at 24,370.10. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.7 percent to 7,084.46.

ANALYST'S COMMENT: Asian markets welcome "the latest indication of further interest from the U.S. to resolve the U.S.-China trade uncertainty," said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. "While skepticism may well persist, and worries build ahead of Chinese growth figures next week, the driving force for intraday market action belongs to trade."

JAPAN INFLATION: Inflation in December came in weaker than expected, temporarily putting the central bank farther from its target of 2 percent. Prices rose 0.3 percent, down from November's 0.8 percent, as tumbling food costs offset a rise in energy prices.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude 54 cents to $52.61 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 24 cents on Thursday to close at $52.07. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 47 cents to $61.65 per barrel in London. It lost 14 cents the previous session to $61.18.

CURRENCY: The dollar advanced to 109.33 yen from Thursday's 109.24 yen. The euro gained to $1.1393 from $1.1388.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.