Asian shares firm as investors stay hopeful on U.S.-China disputes

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By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian share prices ticked up on Tuesday as some investors clung to hopes the fourth quarter will bring progress in resolving the United-States trade war that’s cast a shadow over the global economy.

European shares are expected to rise, with pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 futures () trading up 0.39% to hit its highest levels since June last year.

U.S. stock futures () rose 0.35% in Asia, a day after the S&P 500 () gained 0.50%.

Technology sectors led New York gains on Monday while U.S.-listed shares of Chinese firms bounced up after big falls on Friday, with Alibaba (N:) up 0.75% and Baidu (O:) rising 1.53%.

In Asia, the world’s largest contract chipmaker TSMC (TW:) of Taiwan jumped 2.9% to hit an all-time high.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan () inched up 0.23% while Japan’s Nikkei () rose 0.6% and Australia’s benchmark () by 0.8%, some of that coming after the central bank cut rates for a third time this year.

Starting on Tuesday, Chinese markets are shut for a week to mark 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro dismissed reports that the Trump administration was considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges as “fake news”, giving short-term players an excuse to buy back risk assets.

“Whether it was a fake news or not, it is becoming harder to know exactly what the U.S. administration will be doing,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.

China and the United States are due to resume high-level trade talks next week in Washington.

“It’s not clear how the U.S.-China talks will progress, given there are hard-liners against China in the administration. But if there’s no further escalation in the upcoming meeting, markets will be relieved,” Hiroki said.

While the tussle over trade and technology between the world’s two largest economies has intensified, some investors are sticking to hopes of a compromise.

They say a tentative deal could be reached by the end of this year, given that President Donald Trump’s administration would strive to avoid the U.S. economy falling into a recession in an election year.

“While we ought not to have preconception, for Trump, not having made a deal with China could be increasingly seen as negative ahead of the election next year,” said Tomoo Kinoshita, chief global strategist at Invesco Asset Management in Tokyo.

In the currency market, the dollar’s index () against a basket of major currencies rose 0.16% to 99.555, its highest level since May 2017.

The euro extended its decline on worries about sluggish growth in the currency bloc.

The euro traded at $1.0888 (), having slipped to a near 2 1/2-year low of $1.0885 in U.S. trade on Monday.

The yen was slightly weaker at 108.24 yen to the dollar , not far from last month’s low of 108.48.

The Japanese currency showed no reaction to the Bank of Japan’s tankan survey showing business confidence at big Japanese manufacturers worsened in the three months to September to its lowest level in six years.

The Australian dollar lost 0.6% to $0.6713 , edging near its 10-year low of $0.66775 set in August, after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates for the third time this year to record low, as expected.

The New Zealand dollar slipped to a four-year low of $0.6234, following a recent string of weak local data.

Gold fell to a two-month low on the back of a robust U.S. dollar, last trading at $1,468.50 per ounce .

Oil prices rebounded in early Asian trade on Tuesday after production at the world’s largest oil producers fell in the third quarter, although demand concerns continued to keep a lid on prices.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude () fell 3.3% on Monday before rise 0.39% early on Tuesday to $54.28 per barrel.