Asian markets rise on China-US trade hopes

23 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

HONG KONG: Asian markets rose Tuesday on growing optimism that China and the US will sign a partial trade deal next month, while the pound dipped slightly as dealers await another key Brexit vote in Westminster.

Donald Trump reinforced hopes Monday that he and Xi Jinping will be able to put pen to paper on a mini pact, saying China had already started promised purchases of farm goods, and that the first part of a wider commitment was almost complete, reports AFP.

“We’ll be able to, we think, sign a completed document with China on phase one,” Trump said at the White House, adding they would then move on to the next phases.

Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said efforts were being made for it to be ready when the leaders meet at the APEC summit next month in Chile.

And Trump’s economics adviser Larry Kudlow indicated tariffs planned to go into effect in December could be cancelled if the talks go well.

Increasing signs of progress in the 18-month trade war provided some much-needed relief to global markets, with all three main indexes on Wall Street ending higher and Asia taking up the lead.

Hong Kong rose 0.2 percent, Shanghai ended up 0.5 percent and Sydney gained 0.3 percent.

Singapore put on 0.9 percent and Seoul rallied more than one percent. Wellington, Taipei, Manila and Mumbai were also higher, while Tokyo was closed for a holiday.

“Unlike previous trade talks where expectations centred on the view that something is better than nothing, this time around there appears to be a tangible and workable roadmap in place,” said AxiTrader senior market analyst Stephen Innes.

He said this was “supported by official confirmation that the US and China were both on the same page about the intent to work towards phase one of a ‘deal’ by mid-November”.

The “fact that phase two is even being discussed at this time… suggests that both the US and China may have finally found a bridge that isn’t too far”.