By Associated Press and Marketwatch
TOKYO — Shares advanced in Asia on Tuesday, led by a rally in Chinese shares. Upbeat talk from the White House on trade negotiations with Beijing and reassuring comments from the People’s Bank of China appeared to help brighten sentiment.
The Nikkei 225 index /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -1.06% added 0.2%. China’s Shanghai Composite index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -1.95% jumped 2.4% and the Hang Seng index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.84% in Hong Kong surged 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.81% gained 0.2%and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.61% rose 0.4%.
Among individual stocks, telecoms NTT Docomo /zigman2/quotes/202061250/delayed JP:9437 -1.11% and SoftBank Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204784505/delayed JP:9434 -0.43% rose in Tokyo trading, as did Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 +1.39% and Fast Retailing /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 -3.34% . In Hong Kong, China Life Insurance /zigman2/quotes/202359856/delayed HK:2628 -6.70% and Ping An Insurance /zigman2/quotes/210315058/delayed HK:2318 -1.95% rose, while Apple component-maker Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 -4.07% fell. Asiana Airlines /zigman2/quotes/207223301/delayed KR:020560 -2.59% surged for a second day in South Korea after its largest shareholder said it would sell its stake. Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT -2.41% fell in Australia.
Larry Kudlow, director of the president’s National Economic Council, told reporters negotiations over complaints that China has predatory technology policies were going “very well” and making good progress.
“We’re not quite there yet. We’ve still got some open issues. Currency reforms look very good, for example, there’s been progress on enforcement. Just pretty much across the board,” he said. “I think the key here is steady conversations, steady conversations since they were here,” Kudlow said, referring to the latest round of talks, which were held in Washington earlier this month.
Meanwhile China’s central bank, The People’s Bank of China, said it was adjusting its monetary policy to coordinate with government spending.
“Market moves have become more muted ahead of the Easter holidays, while liquidity is also expected to be poorer,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. “PBOC stated that some positive changes are seen in structural adjustments of the economy in the first quarter, but uncertainties remain,” it said.
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 index edged lower, weighed down by bank shares after Goldman Sachs said it’s off to a “muted start to the year,” despite first quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations. Citigroup also slipped following its earnings report, as banks lead off a quarterly reporting season that analysts expect to be the weakest in nearly three years.
The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.05% lost 0.1% to 2,905.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.44% fell 0.1% to 26,384.77 and the Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.66% lost 0.1% to 7,976.01. But stock futures moved higher early Tuesday.
The S&P 500 remains within 0.9% of its record following a torrid start to the year, after the Federal Reserve said it may not raise interest rates at all in 2019.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y +6.06% note held steady at 2.55%. It has been climbing since late last month, when it fell to 2.37% amid a crescendo of worries that global economic growth was slowing.
The price of oil gave back some of its big gains for the year. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 13 cents to $63.27 per barrel. It fell 49 cents to settle at $63.40 on Monday. Brent crude , the international standard, fell 34 cents to $70.841.01. Both remain up more than 30% for the year.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.2668% slipped to 111.95 Japanese yen from 112.01 yen.