By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Shares were mixed in Asia on Thursday after modest gains overnight on Wall Street.
The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.25% jumped 0.9% on reports of possible progress in China-U.S. trade talks.
China’s chief negotiator, Liu He, was scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday, and Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, expressed optimism that the two sides can come closer to a final agreement this week.
Markets have swayed for months as the contentious talks drag on. The latest reports say that both sides have resolved most of the key issues, with some pledges from China to end practices viewed by the U.S. as technology theft.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.94% finished flat, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.20% retreated 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.21% advanced 0.1%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.73% rose and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.99% fell 0.8%
Among individual stocks, Japan Display /zigman2/quotes/204799605/delayed JP:6740 +1.72% rallied in Tokyo trading after a report that it would supply OLED screens for Apple Watches starting later this year. Meanwhile, e-commerce company Rakuten /zigman2/quotes/201861450/delayed JP:4755 -0.62% gained while oil producer Inpex /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 -0.64% slipped. In Hong Kong, CNOOC /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 +0.91% and AIA Group /zigman2/quotes/203565558/delayed HK:1299 +0.71% fell, along with many companies in the real-estate sector. Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +0.74% edged up in Korea, while Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT -2.02% , Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/203437212/delayed AU:WPL -1.13% slid in Australia.
U.S. stocks recovered from a late-afternoon bout of selling on Wall Street to give the benchmark S&P 500 its fifth straight gain.
Technology stocks powered much of the last-minute rebound, led by chipmakers. Retailers, homebuilders and hotel operators were among the big gainers. Energy companies, consumer goods makers and industrial stocks took the heaviest losses.
Investors are awaiting the release Friday of the government’s monthly tally of hiring by U.S. employers and a new round of corporate earnings reports set to begin coming out next week.
The overall forecast is for a weak round of results, with earnings by S&P 500 companies expected to contract by 4%, according to FactSet.
The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -4.04% added 0.2% to 2,873.40 and is about 2% shy of its most recent all-time high reached on Sept. 20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -3.57% rose 0.1% to 26,218.13. The Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -4.73% , which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, gained 0.6% to 7,895.55. The Russell 2000 index /zigman2/quotes/210598147/delayed RUT -3.56% of smaller company stocks picked up 0.5% to 1,560.91. U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly mixed open for Thursday.