Asian shares rise on optimism about US-China trade deal

Business News
John Doyle, Ronald Madarasz

FILE – In this Nov. 20, 2019, file photo traders John Doyle, left, and Ronald Madarasz work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were rising Thursday amid renewed hopes a U.S. trade deal with China may be nearing, despite tough recent talk from President Donald Trump.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.7% to 23,300.03 in early trading, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added nearly 1.0% to 6,671.90. South Korea’s Kospi inched up nearly 0.1% to 2,070.44. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.6% at 26,228.38, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.7% to 2,897.99.

Shares on Wall Street finished higher, with the gains snapped a three-day losing streak for the S&P 500. The U.S. market has swung sharply for months on every hint of progress about talks between the world’s largest economies, and Asian regional indexes have tended to reflect those fluctuations.

In the latest development, Bloomberg News reported that U.S. negotiators expect a “Phase 1” trade agreement to be completed before U.S. tariffs are set to rise on Chinese products Dec. 15.

The report came a day after Trump said he wouldn’t mind waiting until after the 2020 elections for a deal, a remark that officials reportedly called off the cuff but nevertheless sent markets skidding.

“The trade war will be the key driver of sentiment in the immediate few weeks,” DBS Group analysts wrote in a report.

The S&P 500 rose 19.56 points, or 0.6%, to 3,112.76. Despite recovering some losses, the index is still down 0.9% for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 146.97 points, or 0.5%, to 27,649.78. The Nasdaq composite gained 46.03 points, or 0.5%, to 8,566.67. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 11.27 points, or 0.7%, to 1,613.90.

ENERGY:

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 21 cents to $58.22 a barrel. It climbed $2.33, or 4.2%, to $58.43 per barrel Wednesday, as members of OPEC prepare to meet later this week and vote on production levels. Brent crude, the international standard, slipped 7 cents to $62.93.

CURRENCIES:

The dollar rose to 108.91 Japanese yen from 108.68 yen Wednesday. The euro weakened slightly to $1.1084 from $1.1088.

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AP Business Writers Alex Veiga and Stan Choe contributed.

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