By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets kicked off a busy week by gaining in early trading Monday, after comments Friday that the U.S. and China were close to reaching a “phase one” trade deal.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spoke with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Friday and will speak again soon, and that the two sides are close to finalizing parts of a deal.
U.S. officials have said they hope to sign a deal in mid-November. China is reportedly seeking a pause in new tariffs; the next round of U.S. tariff hikes against Chinese goods is set to take effect Dec. 15.
“It’s been a tranquil start to a potentially eventful week,” Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific market strategist for AxiTrader, wrote in a note, pointing out that the coming week includes potentially market-moving events such as meetings by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, Brexit developments, and the busiest week of Wall Street’s earnings season.
“Behind [recent] doom and gloom, however, short-term investors are smelling a reversal in risk sentiment as even a mini U.S.-China trade deal together with the removal of the no-deal Brexit risk could trigger a decisive turn in sentiment,” he wrote.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.44% advanced 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.60% rose 1.2%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.40% gained 0.7% and the Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +0.28% surged 1.3%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.64% gained 0.4%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.83% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -1.66% advanced. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.34% edged up 0.2%. Markets in Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand were closed for holidays.
Among individual stocks, robotics maker Fanuc /zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed JP:6954 -1.28% gained in Tokyo trading, along with Honda /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 -1.40% and Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -1.18% . In Hong Kong, Geely Automobile /zigman2/quotes/200716015/delayed HK:175 -3.90% surged, while AIA Group /zigman2/quotes/203565558/delayed HK:1299 -3.28% and Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 -1.10% posted strong gains. Kia Motors /zigman2/quotes/206019389/delayed KR:000270 -3.62% sank in South Korea, while BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -1.89% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -2.10% rose in Australia.