Asian stocks rise on re­ports US, China close to trade deal

Sun.Star Pampanga - - BUSINESS! -

B EIJING (AP) — Asian stocks rose Mon day af­ter news re­ports said Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing are close to reach­ing an agree­ment as early as this month to end their costly tar­iff war.

Bench­marks in Shang­hai, Tokyo and Seoul ad­vanced af­ter Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Jour­nal, cit­ing uniden­ti­fied sources, said China was of­fer­ing to ease tar­iffs and other re­stric­tions on U.S. farm, chem­i­cal, auto and other prod­ucts. They said Wash­ing­ton would re­move most sanc­tions on Chi­nese im­ports.

A deal might be com­pleted in time to be signed by Pres­i­dents Don­ald Trump and Xi Jin­ping this month, the re­ports said. But they cau­tioned the two sides still were ne­go­ti­at­ing on the is­sue that sparked the dis­pute: Chi­nese plans for state-led cre­ation of global tech­nol­ogy com­peti­tors that Wash­ing­ton, Europe and other trad­ing part­ners say vi­o­late Bei­jing’s mar­ket-open­ing obli­ga­tions.

The bat­tle be­tween the two big­gest global economies has rat­tled global fi­nan­cial mar­kets for months. In­vestors worry it will weigh on global eco­nomic growth that al­ready is show­ing signs of slow­ing.

“Speculation that both the U.S. and China are close to sign­ing a deal will keep mar­ket play­ers slightly up­beat,” Ni­cholas Mapa and Prakash Sak­pal of ING said in a re­port.

The Shang­hai Com­pos­ite In­dex rose 2.6 per­cent to 3,073.03, its high­est level since June, and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 1.2 per­cent to 21,841.76.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ad­vanced 1.0 per­cent to 29,096.02 and Seoul’s Kospi was 0.3 per­cent higher at 2,203.24. Syd­ney’s S&P-ASX gained 0.5 per­cent to 6,221.70. New Zealand and Sin­ga­pore ad­vanced while Tai­wan re­treated.

In­vestors are watch­ing this week’s ses­sion of China’s cer­e­mo­nial na­tional leg­is­la­ture for an­nounce­ments of of­fi­cial pol­icy on ex­change rate pol­icy, trade, in­dus­trial pol­icy and pos­si­ble eco­nomic stim­u­lus.

The leg­is­la­ture is due to en­dorse a law that would ad­dress one por­tion of for­eign com­plaints about Bei­jing’s reg­u­la­tion sys­tem by dis­cour­ag­ing of­fi­cials from pres­sur­ing com­pa­nies to hand over tech­nol­ogy.

Fore­cast­ers ex­pect the gov­ern­ment to an­nounce an an­nual growth tar­get of at least 6 per­cent. Few ma­jor changes are ex­pected, but economists ex­pect more gov­ern­ment spend­ing to shore up cool­ing growth.

WALL STREET: Health care and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies helped lift U.S. stocks, break­ing a three-day los­ing streak for the Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex and giv­ing the bench­mark in­dex its fifth straight weekly gain. The S&P 500 climbed 0.7 per­cent to 2,803.69. The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age rose 0.4 per­cent to 26,026.32. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite gained 0.8 per­cent to 7,595.35.

EN­ERGY: Bench­mark U.S. crude gained 22 cents to $56.02 per bar­rel in elec­tron­ics trad­ing on the New York Mer­can­tile Ex­change. The con­tract fell $1.40 on Fri­day to $55.80. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, added 30 cents to $65.37 per bar­rel in Lon­don. It lost $1.24 the pre­vi­ous ses­sion to $65.07.

CUR­RENCY: The dol­lar rose to 111.99 yen from Fri­day’s 111.92 yen. The euro re­treated to $1.1365 from $1.1411.

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