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Asian shares climb on hopes of positive US & China trade talks

Asian shares climbed to four-month highs on Friday on hopes US and China could strike a trade deal

Asian shares climbed to four-month highs on Friday, as the US and China enter into high-level trade talks.

US president Donald Trump will soon meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping to try to finalise a comprehensive trade deal, after top US negotiators began talks in Washington on Wednesday.

It comes after top US officials reported “substantial progress” in two days of high-level talks in Washington.

Trump said on Thursday he was positive that the two economies could reach a deal, calling it “the biggest deal ever made.”

Analysts say they’re mostly sceptical that a genuine trade deal can be done in such a short time frame.

Trump has said that a deal must be reached by March 1, or failure to reach a deal would lead to an increase in US tariffs on Chinese goods.

Investors trade with optimism on positive trade deal outcome

Investors remained optimistic on Friday, with the S&P 500 ending with a 0.86% gain, while the Nasdaq climbed 1.37%, still feeding off the 11% rise in Facebook shares on Wednesday. The Dow slipped 0.06%.

Equity markets relieved after the US Federal Reserve paused interest rate hikes, with investors responding by pricing in a one-in-three chance that interest rates could be cut this year.

The US dollar fell 0.6% so far this week against the yen at $108.85, finding support around $108.50.

The dollar was a shade firmer on Friday at $95.558 resulting from a pullback in the euro to $1.1446.

Oil prices held firm, with US crude futures gaining 0.4%, to $54.01 per barrel. Australian shares also started off higher on Friday, on the back of the positive Wall Street performance.


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