By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets rallied from early losses into positive territory in early trading Thursday, following conflicting reports of progress in the U.S.-China trade war.
Markets opened lower following a report by the South China Morning Post that “no progress” had been made in low-level meetings to lay the groundwork for a high-level meeting starting Thursday in Washington.
But a later report by Bloomberg News said the Trump administration was making moves toward a partial trade deal, including putting off tariff hikes scheduled to go into effect next week. The report said negotiations on touchier issues such as forced transfers of technologies could come later. The New York Times also reported that the U.S. would soon issue licenses to some U.S. companies to do business again with China’s Huawei Technologies, a move that could significantly ease tensions.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.52% rose 0.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +2.28% gained 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.55% advanced 0.2% and the Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +1.91% jumped 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.27% fell 0.8%, while benchmark indexes in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.06% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.36% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.05% was about flat. Taiwan’s Taiex was closed for a holiday.
Among individual stocks, convenience-store chain FamilyMart rose in Tokyo trading, along with SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -0.94% and Advantest /zigman2/quotes/206869087/delayed JP:6857 +0.54% . In Hong Kong, AAC Technologies /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +2.45% and Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 +2.50% gained, while New World Development /zigman2/quotes/202357413/delayed HK:17 +1.06% retreated. LG Electronics /zigman2/quotes/209966407/delayed KR:066570 +0.19% advanced in South Korea while Fortescue Metals /zigman2/quotes/202351558/delayed AU:FMG +1.46% fell in Australia.