Asian shares rose on Wednesday as upbeat signals from Sino-U.S. trade talks fanned hopes of an easing of tariff hostilities, while expectations the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low supported sentiment.
The positive mood pushed Wall Street indexes to fresh record closing highs on Tuesday and stoked confidence in Asia with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.19%. Australian shares added 0.65% and Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.36%.
Chinese blue-chip shares), in contrast, dropped 0.39% after the data showed profits at China’s industrial firms declined in annual terms for the third consecutive month in October, tracking sustained drops in producer prices and exports and underscoring slowing momentum in the world’s second-largest economy.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States and China are close to agreement on the first phase of a trade deal after top negotiators from the two countries spoke by telephone and agreed to keep working on remaining issues.
But while Trump said Washington was in the “final throes” of work on a trade deal with Beijing, he also underscored U.S. support for protesters in Hong Kong, seen as a sore point for Beijing.
Trump’s comments came alongside softer-than-expected economic data from the United States, which showed a fourth straight monthly contraction in consumer confidence and an unexpected drop in new home sales in October.
On Wednesday, the rally in U.S. Treasuries moderated across the curve, with benchmark 10-year notes yielding 1.7483%, up from their U.S. close of 1.74% on Tuesday.
The two-year yield, watched as a guide to market expectations of Fed policy, rose to 1.5959% compared with a U.S. close of 1.586%.
In currency markets, the dollar strengthened 0.06% against the yen to 109.10 <jpy=>and the euro was slightly weaker, buying $1.1017.</jpy=>
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.06% at 98.313.
Oil prices retreated after rising Tuesday on reassuring trade headlines. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.34% at $58.21 per barrel.
Global benchmark Brent crude lost 0.33% to $64.06 per barrel.
Gold was lower, changing hands at $1,459.43 per ounce on the spot market, down 0.12%.