By Associated Press and Marketwatch
Asian markets gained in early trading Thursday, as investors focused on optimistic signs ahead of Saturday’s meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit.
The meeting is undoubtedly the economic highlight of the summit, held in Osaka, Japan, on Friday and Saturday. Investors hope that the presidents will move toward resolving a trade dispute that has raised business costs and weighed on global financial markets.
Trump has said he was prepared to place tariffs on $300 billion more in Chinese imports, covering everything China ships to the United States, if the talks with Xi don’t end in progress.
“The Chinese economy’s going down the tubes,” he said in an interview with Fox Business Network on Wednesday. “They want to make a deal more than I do.”
Early Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary said a trade deal with China was “90% of the way there,” and that he was confident Trump and Xi would make inroads to restarting negotiations. On Thursday, the South China Morning Post reported the U.S. and China have tentatively agreed to a tariff truce in order to resume trade talks, and that an official announcement would be made before Trump and Xi meet in Osaka.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.18% rose 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +3.36% gained 1.1%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.69% advanced 0.9% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +2.53% rose 1.1%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.41% gained 0.7% and benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 +1.33% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +1.60% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.79% advanced as well. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.91% edged up 0.1%.
Among individual stocks, Japan Display /zigman2/quotes/204799605/delayed JP:6740 +2.17% skyrocketed in Tokyo trading after a report that Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -0.10% will invest $100 million into the beleaguered company. SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +3.85% , Toyota /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 +0.03% and Mitsubishi UFJ /zigman2/quotes/207520099/delayed JP:8306 -0.70% also gained. In Hong Kong, casino operators Sands China /zigman2/quotes/207609245/delayed HK:1928 +2.32% and Galaxy Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/202884203/delayed HK:27 +3.06% rose, along with AAC /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +5.28% and Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 +5.47% . Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +0.79% advanced in South Korea and Taiwan Semiconductor /zigman2/quotes/207385621/delayed TW:2330 +1.37% gained in Taiwan. BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +2.60% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO +3.42% rose in Australia.
Stephen Innes of Vanguard Markets believes the upcoming talks at the G-20 will be a “formality at best.”
“Although Mnuchin suggested we are 90% there to a trade deal, that reaming 10% has always been the gap too far to bridge — especially that trust gap where the U.S. wants to keep existing tariffs in place to ensure China compliance,” he added.
Wall Street made early gains Wednesday on optimism over the talks. But the rally fizzled and most major benchmarks were lower at the closing bell.
The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.48% eased 0.1% to 2,913.78 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.07% shed less than 0.1% to 26,536.82. The Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +1.29% added 0.3% to 7,909.97.
Benchmark U.S. crude lost 16 cents to $59.22 a barrel. It picked up $1.55 to settle at $59.38 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude oil , the international standard, shed 21 cents to $65.48 a barrel. The contract gained $1.41 to $65.69 a barrel in the previous session.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.1521% rose to 107.97 yen from 107.79 yen late Wednesday.