Stocks in Asia advance on positive US-China trade sentiment
Markets in Asia mostly rose on Wednesday morning amid positive sentiment on the U.S.-China trade front.
The mainland Chinese markets were mostly higher in early trade. The Shenzhen component rose 0.372 percent and the Shenzhen composite gained 0.199 percent. The Shanghai composite, however, declined more than 0.1 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 extended its gains from the previous session, rising 1.37 percent as the Topix index advanced 0.89 percent. South Korea’s Kospi also gained 0.4 percent.
The ASX 200 in Australia shed its earlier gains to slip 0.15 percent in afternoon trade. Oil company Beach Energy surged 5.92 percent after the company announced increased sales revenue and improved guidance in its half year report for the 2019 financial year.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he was open to postponing the March 2 deadline for tariffs if Washington and Beijing can reach a trade deal soon.
Trump softened his stance on the trade battle with China, saying he’s open to letting the deadline slide, but “would prefer not to.” He also said Beijing “very much wants to make a deal,” and he has “a big team” in China trying to reach a resolution.
When asked if he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of March, Trump said, “Not at this point.”
Trump’s comments came as the U.S. and China attempt to strike a deal amid an ongoing trade fight between the two economic powerhouses.
The March 2 deadline is crucial in the negotiations as U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will increase if a deal is not struck before then. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, along with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, are in Beijing this week for another round of negotiations with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
A morning note from strategists at DBS Group Research sounded a warning “not to count the chickens before they hatch.”
“The pendulum on whether a US-China trade deal could be struck has been swinging with US President Donald Trump’s comments on his on/off meeting with China President Xi Jinping to extending talks beyond the 1st of March. The extension will only be possible if China accedes to US’s push for enforcement mechanisms on areas such as forced technology transfer and intellectual property protection,” they said.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.688 after seeing a high around 97.2 yesterday.
The Japanese yen traded at 110.56 against the dollar after seeing lows around 110.6 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7109 after rising from lows below $0.707 in the previous session.
Oil prices continued to rise in the morning of Asian trade following Tuesday’s gains. The international benchmark Brent crude futures contract rose 0.79 percent to $62.91 per barrel. The U.S. crude futures contract gained 0.9 percent to $53.58 per barrel.
— CNBC’s Yun Li contributed to this report.