Asia market trends Friday: Potential boost from hopes US-China trade war may ease

Ceramic cats at DaisoCeramic cats at Daiso

Asian markets may head into the weekend on a high note, potentially tracking Wall Street gains amid signs that U.S.-China trade talks could result in a rapprochement.

Wall Street got a fillip on a potential light at the end of the tunnel in the U.S. trade war with China, with The Wall Street Journal reporting, citing people close to internal deliberations, that U.S. officials were considering easing some or all the tariffs on Chinese imports in a bid toward reaching a deal with Beijing.

But there were signs of increasing jitters over the U.S. government shutdown, already the longest ever, with Bloomberg reporting analysts were beginning to worry it would start hurting stocks as well as workers.

Indexes

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.54 percent in early trade on Friday.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down 0.45 percent at 3214.44 on Thursday; January futures for the index were at 3213 on Thursday, while February and March futures were at 3216 and 3213 respectively.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index shed 0.54 percent to 26,755.631 on Thursday, while China’s CSI 300 index was off 0.55 percent at 3111.417.

Malaysia’s KLCI rose 0.59 percent to 1682.97 on Thursday, while Indonesia’s IDX Composite edged up 0.16 percent to 6423.78.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.67 percent to 24,370.10 on Thursday, the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.71 percent at 7084.463 and the S&P 500 tacked on 0.76 percent to 2635.96. Futures for the three indexes were pointing nose down in early trade.

Oil

Nymex WTI crude oil futures for February were up 0.13 percent at US$52.14 a barrel at 7:50 A.M. SGT, while ICE Brent crude oil futures for March were down 0.23 percent at US$61.18 a barrel at 6:59 A.M. SGT, according to Bloomberg data.

 

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