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Asia Markets

Oct. 7, 2019, 11:52 p.m. EDT

Asian markets gain ahead of U.S.-China trade talks

Nikkei posts strong gain as mainland China markets reopen after weeklong holiday; HKEX drops $37 billion bid to buy LSE

By Marketwatch and Associated Press

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. dropped its bid to buy the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Asian markets gained in early trading Tuesday amid hopes that progress can be made at U.S.-China trade talks later this week.

China confirmed that its top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, would lead its delegation in Washington for high-level talks starting Thursday. China has reportedly taken some issues that the U.S. views as points of contention off the negotiating table, however.

President Donald Trump on Monday said there was a “good possibility” of reaching a deal with China to end the yearlong tariff war, though he added he would not be satisfied with a partial deal.

Meanwhile, the U.S. blacklisted a group of Chinese artificial-intelligence companies that it said was making technology that the Chinese government was using to repress its Muslim minority.

The U.S. on Monday also signed a limited trade deal with Japan, giving U.S. farmers benefits they lost when Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017.

Japan’s Nikkei (NIKKEI:JP:NIK)   rose 1.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HONG:HK:HSI)   gained 1% as it reopened after a holiday Monday. Mainland China’s markets reopened after a weeklong holiday, with the Shanghai Composite (SHG:CN:SHCOMP)   up 0.8% and the Shenzhen Composite (SHENHZEN:CN:399106)   up 1%. South Korea’s Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721)   gained 1% and benchmark indexes in Taiwan (TAIWAN:TW:Y9999)  , Singapore (SES:SG:STI)   and Indonesia (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX)   advanced. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO)   rose 0.4%.

Shares of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (HKG:HK:388)   jumped after the company announced it was dropping its $37 billion bid to buy the London Stock Exchange, after the two companies’ boards were “unable to engage.” The LSE had previously rejected HKEX’s bid, which turned hostile.

Among individual stocks, Japan Steel Works (TKS:JP:5631)   gained in Tokyo trading, along with Fast Retailing (TKS:JP:9983)   and Toyota (TKS:JP:7203)  . In Hong Kong, Volvo parent Geely Automobile (HKG:HK:175)  , PetroChina (HKG:HK:857)   and property developer Country Garden (HKG:HK:2007)   rose. Samsung (KRX:KR:005930)   gained in South Korea after warning of a sharp drop in quarterly operating profit, though it said its chip sales could start recovering after the new year. Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX:AU:RIO)   was up in Australia.

“Having sold off through late September, this positioning ahead of the trade talks suggests that the market is not entirely pessimistic towards the outcome,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist for IG in Singapore.

On Wall Street, the market extended its losing streak into a fourth week on Monday.

The market is coming off a three-week skid following a mostly discouraging batch of economic data that stoked investors’ worries that a slowdown in U.S. economic growth could worsen.

The combination of uncertainty over the costly trade war between the U.S. and China and the impeachment inquiry unfolding in Washington is likely to continue to drag on the economy and weigh on markets.

The S&P 500 (S&P:SPX)   fell 13.22 points, or 0.4%, at 2,938.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA)   slid 95.70 points, or 0.4%, to 26,478.02. The Nasdaq (NASDAQ:COMP)   dropped 26.18 points, or 0.3%, to 7,956.29.

Benchmark crude oil   added 32 cents to $53.07 a barrel. It fell 6 cents to $52.75 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil  , the international standard, rose 35 cents to $58.70 a barrel.

The dollar (XTUP:USDJPY)   rose to 107.32 Japanese yen from 106.84 yen on Monday.

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