Asian markets edge up ahead of US-China trade talks

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said in a briefing there is “a good possibility” the US can make a deal with China and that US President Donald Trump is open to a deal.

China President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump
Source: AP

Markets in Asia saw light positive trading on Wednesday morning, following Wall Street’s modest increase on Tuesday in a response to upbeat sentiment from the White House on a possible trade tariffs deal between the United States (US) and China.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said in a White House briefing that there is “a good possibility” the US can make a deal with China and that US President Donald Trump is open to a deal.

But Mr Kudlow added the caveat that “certain conditions have to be met, certain things have to be changed," in order for a deal to come through.

Mr Trump and China President Xi Jinping are expected to meet on the side lines of the upcoming G20 summit at Bueno Aires, Argentina, where world leaders will convene on Friday and Saturday.

Tokyo shares opened higher on Wednesday, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 up 0.51% or 111.66 points at 22,064.06. Malaysia shares also treaded higher early morning, with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index up 1.00% or 0.83 points, to 1,685.80.

Singapore shares rose in the morning’s session, with the Straits Times Index up 7.24 points or 0.23% to 3,097.64 minutes into trading.

Chinese stocks followed the consensus with other Asian markets as mainland investors grow slightly optimistic on a possible trade deal breakthrough.

Minutes into trading, the Shanghai Composite Index was 0.09% or 2.27 points higher, at 2,576.95, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.50% or 132.34 points, at 26,464.30. China’s smaller Shenzhen Composite Index rose 0.43%.

Market sentiment shifts in a day on Trump’s views

Earlier on Tuesday, the US market opened lower after Mr Trump said he plans to go ahead to raise China tariffs due January 1, and may impose additional tariffs on US$267 billion worth of goods which could include laptops and iPhones.

The news sank the market, with Apple’s shares taking a hit, diving 2.11% before the market opened. Apple ended the day’s session 0.22% or US$0.38 lower, at US$174.24.

The overall US market recovered as the day passed, after a more upbeat sentiment on trade talks came from the White House.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.44% or 108.49 points, to close at 24,748.73, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.01% or 0.85 points, to 7,082.70 points. The S&P 500 rose 0.33% or 8.72 points, to 2,682.17.

The G20 summit is seen as the pivotal breakthrough point between the leaders of the world’s two largest economies. At the G20, Mr Trump is likely to focus on alleged Chinese theft of intellectual property, ownership of American companies in China and, tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

According to Mr Kudlow, the US is having an active communication with the Chinese government on trade talks, as compared to a previous “total standstill” with no discussions made at all.

Mr Kudlow thinks the US and China have a “good possibility” in reaching a deal at the dinner on Saturday, adding that the US is in a "better shape to weather this than the Chinese are."

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