Asia stocks follow Wall Street higher amid trade optimism

Sun Online Desk

27th December, 2019 03:34:48 printer

Asia stocks follow Wall Street higher amid trade optimism

Asian stocks followed Wall Street higher on Friday amid optimism US-Chinese trade relations are improving, reports AP.

Hong Kong's benchmark rose 1.2% while Shanghai and Hong Kong also rose and Tokyo was unchanged.

Investors welcomed US President Donald Trump's comment that an interim "Phase 1" trade deal was "getting done." Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would hold a signing ceremony.

Markets have been encouraged by positive comments about the agreement, though details have yet to be released.

Chinese customs data this week showed November soybean imports rose in a possible boost to American farmers. Midwestern farm states were battered by Beijing's earlier suspension of purchases of US soybeans, the biggest Chinese import from the United States, in response to Trump's tariff hikes in a fight over China's technology ambitions and trade surplus.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose to 28,193.40 and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8% to 3,032.81. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was off 16 points at 23,908.33.

Seoul's Kospi gained 0.3% to 2,204.03 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.4% to 6,820.10.

India's Sensex opened 0.7% higher at 41,439.43. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Singapore advanced while New Zealand declined.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average reached new highs Thursday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to 3,239.91 and the Dow gained 0.4% to 28,621.39. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.8% to 9,022.39.

Investors welcomed a report by Mastercard Spending Pulse that showed US online Christmas shopping rose 18.8% over a year earlier.

Despite optimism about a US-Chinese trade truce, traders still are concerned about bigger unresolved disputes.

The coming year also has the added complication of the US presidential election.