Asian Equities Rise Amid Optimism Over Potential for Renewed Trade Talks

Aug 01, 2018

Asian markets were mostly higher in morning trade on Wednesday as investors digested the latest news on the U.S.-China trade front.

Representatives of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He were reportedly looking to restart trade negotiations, reports on Wednesday suggested, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Mnuchin and Liu agreed more conversation need to talk place, although a more specific timetable and topics to be discussed are yet to be finalized at this stage, according to the reports.

Separately, the Trump administration is considering to raise its planned 10% tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25%, three people familiar with the internal deliberations said.

The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.3% and 0.5% by 9:45PM ET (01:45 GMT), while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.3%.

U.S. listed Chinese internet search company Baidu Inc.(NASDAQ:BIDU) received some focus after reporting net income rose 45% to 6.4 billion yuan ($940.65 million) in the second quarter ended June 30, compared to an estimated 13.4% rise.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.5%. Nintendo Co (T:7974). made headlines after the company reported operating profit of 30.5 billion yen in the June quarter, compared to the estimates of 25.6 billion yen.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s KOSPI also gained 0.6%. Technology stocks outperformed after Apple’s shares climbed overnight in the U.S. following a better-than-expected earnings report.

Meanwhile, official data showed on Wednesday that the country’s exports increased 6.2% from a year earlier to $51.9 billion, after slipping 0.2% in June.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 7% growth. Imports, on the other hand, surged 16.2% from a year ago to $44.9 billion, data showed.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 6276.7 in morning trade.