Global shares steady, investors pin hopes on U.S.-China talks

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By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO (Reuters) – Global share prices ticked up on Tuesday as some investors clung to hopes that China and the United States could work towards reaching a deal on trade and other issues in the fourth quarter.

Japan’s Nikkei () rose 0.6% while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan () inched up 0.11%.

Chinese markets will be shut for a week from Tuesday to mark 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

U.S. stock futures () rose 0.16% in Asia, a day after the S&P 500 () gained 0.50%.

Technology sectors led the gains on Monday while U.S.-listed shares of Chinese firms bounced up a tad, after big balls on Friday, with Alibaba (N:) up 0.75% and Baidu (O:) gaining 1.53%.

During the July-September quarter, the S&P500 gained 1.21%.

In Europe, the benchmark stock index () gained 2.15% in the quarter to end at 16-month high, thanks in part to a weak euro.

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.

“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,” he added.

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

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.

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

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

The euro traded at $1.0897 (), having slipped to a near 2 1/2-year low of $1.0885 in U.S. trade on Monday.

The yen was barely changed at 108.08 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 fetched $0.6755 , near three-week low of $0.6739 touched last month ahead of a likely rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia later in the day.

A majority of 35 economists polled by Reuters expect the RBA to cut the cash rate for the third time this year.

Oil prices were under pressure, wiping out all of their gains after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities last month, on fading concerns of supply shortfalls and conflicts in the Middle East.

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