Financial Markets

Asian Shares Advance as Investors Await US-China Trade Moves

By ELAINE KURTENBACH AP Business Writer
BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Tuesday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average notched another record high.

Investors were awaiting developments on the China-U.S. trade front after President Donald Trump cast doubts over a Chinese official’s comments on gradually rolling back tariffs as negotiations progress.

The next hints on the status of talks between Beijing and Washington over their tariff war may come later in the day, when Trump is scheduled to give a speech on trade and economic policy at the Economic Club of New York.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.8% to 23,520.01, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.4% to 27,040.21. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.8% to 2,140.92.

The Shanghai Composite index picked up 0.2% to 2,914.82 while Australia’s S&P ASX/200 shed 0.3% to 6,753.00. Shares rose in Taiwan and most of Southeast Asia.

Hong Kong shares bounced back from Monday’s sell-off, though protesters again disrupted the morning commute on Tuesday.

The city has been wracked by anti-government protests for more than five months and tensions escalated Monday as violence grew more extreme.

After a police officer drew his gun during a struggle with protesters, shooting one in the abdomen. In another neighborhood, a person was set on fire after an apparent argument. The Hong Kong hospital authority said both were in critical condition. Video of another incident showed a policeman on a motorcycle riding through a group of protesters in an apparent attempt to disperse them.

In comments suggesting harsher legal and police measures may be planned, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam pledged to “spare no effort” to halt the protests.

Overnight, U.S. stocks mostly fell after President Donald Trump said over the weekend that reports about U.S. willingness to lift tariffs were “incorrect,” only two days after a Chinese official said both sides agreed to rollbacks if talks progress.

Stocks dropped as soon as trading began Monday, and the S&P 500 lost as much as 0.6% from its record level, though indexes pared their losses as the day progressed.

The S&P 500 lost 0.2% to 3,087.01 and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1%, to 8,464.28.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was an outlier and eked out another record, rising less than 0.1% to 27,691.49.

A major factor in the advance was Boeing, whose shares soared 4.5% after the aircraft maker said it hopes to resume deliveries of its 737 Max jet next month.

Bond markets were closed in observance of Veterans Day.

Low interest rates have helped drive the stock market’s recent rally. On Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is due to give testimony to Congress about the economy. Most investors expect the Fed to keep interest rates on hold for now after cutting them three times since the summer.

Later this week, the Labor Department will also give updates on inflation at both the consumer and wholesale levels. On Friday, economists expect a government report to show that retail sales returned to growth in October. That would suggest robust consumer spending is helping to compensate for weaker manufacturing due to the trade war.

Earnings season is close to complete, and nearly 90% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their profits for the July-through-September quarter, according to FactSet. Results have been weak due in part to the slowing global economy, with earnings per share down 2.4% from a year earlier, not as bad as analysts had forecast.

Benchmark crude oil rose 20 cents to $57.06 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 38 cents to settle at $56.86 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, added 19 cents to $62.37. It fell 33 cents to $62.18 a barrel in London.

The dollar rose to 109.25 Japanese yen from 109.06 yen on Monday. The euro slipped to $1.1030 from $1.1034.


AP Business Writers Stan Choe and Damian J. Troise contributed.

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