By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets gained in early trading Friday amid optimism over U.S.-China trade talks, which headed into their second day in Washington.
Despite low expectations going into the first face-to-face high-level negotiations since July, hopes rose that a limited trade deal could be agreed upon after Thursday first day of meetings. “We’re doing very well ... We’re going to see them tomorrow, right here, and it’s going very well,” President Donald Trump told reporters outside the White House.
Trump is scheduled to meet Vice Premier Liu He, China’s lead trade negotiator, on Friday after the talks wrap up. Analysts are hopeful that enough progress will be made for Trump to put off tariff hikes on $250 billion of Chinese imports scheduled to go into effect next week.
“Investors are starting to believe there is light at the end of the trade-war tunnel,” Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, wrote in a note.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.44% rose 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.11% jumped 1.3%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.47% was about flat while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +1.33% slipped 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.50% gained 0.8%, and benchmark indexes in Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI -0.47% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.59% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.52% rose slightly. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.72% advanced 0.6%. Taiwan’s Taiex remained closed for a holiday.
Among individual stocks, Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 -0.25% surged in Tokyo trading after reporting record profit for the third straight fiscal year. Honda /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 -0.77% and oil producer Inpex /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 -3.04% also rose. In Hong Kong, national oil company CNOOC /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 -2.02% gained, as did tech giant Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 +0.53% and property developer Sun Hung Kai Properties /zigman2/quotes/209086152/delayed HK:16 -0.71% . Samsung Electronics /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +1.50% advanced in South Korea, while mining giants BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -1.64% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -1.50% gained in Australia.