Asia Markets: Asian markets rise on fresh optimism over U.S.-China trade talks

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Asian markets gained in early trading Friday amid optimism over U.S.-China trade talks, which headed into their second day in Washington.

Despite low expectations going into the first face-to-face high-level negotiations since July, hopes rose that a limited trade deal could be agreed upon after Thursday first day of meetings. “We’re doing very well … We’re going to see them tomorrow, right here, and it’s going very well,” President Donald Trump told reporters outside the White House.

Trump is scheduled to meet Vice Premier Liu He, China’s lead trade negotiator, on Friday after the talks wrap up. Analysts are hopeful that enough progress will be made for Trump to put off tariff hikes on $250 billion of Chinese imports scheduled to go into effect next week.

“Investors are starting to believe there is light at the end of the trade-war tunnel,” Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, wrote in a note.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.97%   rose 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +1.35%   jumped 1.3%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.07%   was about flat while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.41%   slipped 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, +0.85%   gained 0.8%, and benchmark indexes in Malaysia FBMKLCI, +0.17%  , Singapore STI, +0.43%   and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.66%   rose slightly. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.64%   advanced 0.6%. Taiwan’s Taiex remained closed for a holiday.

Among individual stocks, Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing 9983, +3.33%   surged in Tokyo trading after reporting record profit for the third straight fiscal year. Honda 7267, +1.68%   and oil producer Inpex 1605, +2.77%   also rose. In Hong Kong, national oil company CNOOC 883, +2.96%   gained, as did tech giant Tencent 700, +1.57%   and property developer Sun Hung Kai Properties 16, +2.31%  . Samsung Electronics 005930, +1.24%   advanced in South Korea, while mining giants BHP BHP, +2.02%   and Rio Tinto RIO, +2.26%   gained in Australia.