Stocks move broadly higher on hopes for US-China trade talks

AP Newsroom
August 29, 2019 - 11:22 pm

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2019, file photo trader Jeffrey Vazquez works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. On Thursday, Aug. 29, stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as investors hope that new talks set for September can result in progress in resolving the U.S.-China trade dispute. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

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BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks rebounded Friday on hopes U.S.-Chinese talks next month might produce progress toward ending a costly tariff war over trade and technology.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney all followed Wall Street higher.

Investors were encouraged by a Chinese government statement Thursday that its penalties on U.S. imports are adequate. That suggested Beijing might be pausing in a tit-for-tat cycle of tariff hikes by both sides that has fueled fears the fight will tip the global economy into recession.

The Chinese comment was a "temporary relief for markets," said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. However, Pan cautioned it was in line with the view that Beijing "may delay a deal until the 2020 U.S. elections."

Some analysts say Beijing might be hoping to strike a more favorable deal if President Donald Trump is under pressure during his re-election campaign — or might hold out to negotiate with his successor if he loses.

"This could still make for prolonged trade uncertainty," said Pan.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6% to 2,908.50 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1% to 20,673.25. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 0.7% higher at 25,893.44.

Seoul's Kospi rose 1.6% to 1,965.09 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 1.2% to 6,586.60.

Markets in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia also rose.

On Wall Street, stocks finished Thursday with broad gains, driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than 300 points higher.

The S&P 500 index rose 1.3% to 2,924.58. The Dow climbed 1.3% to 26,362.25. The Nasdaq gained 1.5% to 7,973.39. The S&P 500 is on track for its first weekly gain in five weeks.

Anxiety about the U.S.-Chinese trade fight fueled market volatility this month.

Washington and Beijing are deadlocked in talks over U.S. complaints about China's trade surplus and industry plans its trading partners say are based on stealing or pressuring companies to hand over technology.

Tit-for-tat tariff hikes by both sides have depressed trade, prompting fears the fight might tip the global economy into recession.

Negotiators are due to meet next month in Washington after the latest round of talks in July in Shanghai produced no sign of progress.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 20 cents to $56.51 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 93 cents on Thursday to close at $56.71. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 9 cents to $60.40 per barrel in London. It gained 56 cents the previous session to $60.49.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 106.44 yen from Thursday's 106.52 yen. The euro retreated to $1.1048 from $1.1057.

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