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Asian markets register slight gains amid improved market sentiment

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.82%, Malaysia’s FTSE Bursa Malaysia edged up 0.38%, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.07%.

Most markets in Asia opened higher on Tuesday as investor sentiment improved on the back of the positive trade talks between the United States (US) and China. Earlier cautious comments coming from the US Federal Reserve on future rate hikes also continued to provide relief to investors.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.82% or 168.82 points to 20,202.79 in early trade on Tuesday. The broader Topix index added 0.55% or 8.25 points, to 1,520.78.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index edged up 0.26% or 8.21 points on Tuesday morning, to 3,111.01 points, while Malaysia’s FTSE Bursa Malaysia rose 0.38% or 6.44 points, to 1,685.61.

US commerce secretary Wilber Ross on Monday said that Beijing and Washington could reach a trade deal the US “can live with”, sparking optimism from traders that the ongoing trade dispute may soon come to an end. The resumption of US-China trade talks involving mid-level officials also supported the slight uptick in equities in most Asian markets.

Investor sentiment also improved as traders banked on the dovish comments coming from US’ Federal Reserve’s chairman Jerome Powell last Friday who said that he was aware of the risks in the market and would be patient and flexible in policy decisions for this year.

Albeit the overall positive sentiment in most Asian markets, Chinese stocks however treaded lower minutes into trading, with the Shanghai Composite Index down 0.43% or 10.84 points to 2,522.25, while the Hang Seng Index slipped 0.07% or 17.77 points, to 25,817.93.

In spite of the positive sentiments from traders, many analysts are somewhat doubtful that the US and China can reach a comprehensive agreement to iron out all the issues before their agreed deadline in March.

Wall Street stocks pushes on with winning streak

The optimism stemming from traders toward the developments on the US-China trade talks and dovish comments from the Fed drove Wall Street stocks higher for the second-day winning streak on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.19 points or 0.42%, to 23,531.35 points, while the broad-based S&P 500 jumped up 0.70% to 2,549.69 points, and Nasdaq jumped 1.26% to 6,823.47 points.

Tech giants led the way on Monday, with Amazon and Netflix surging 3.44% and 5.97%, respectively. But not all tech firms were in the green, as firms such as Apple and Google’s Alphabet either traded flat or fell slightly.

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