Hopes for US-China trade talks help push Asian shares higher

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares rose Wednesday amid hopes for U.S.-China trade talks.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.7 percent in early trading to 21,501.95. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.8 percent to 5,618.70. South Korea’s Kospi was up nearly 1.0 percent at 2,073.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.5 percent to 26,166.63, while the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.5 percent to 2,607.24.

TRADE TALKS: Recent media reports say China agreed to reduce tariffs on U.S. autos. That raised hopes the two countries can make progress on their trade dispute. Investors worry weaker global trade would dent economic growth around the world and corporate profits.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 dipped by 0.94 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,636.78, while the Dow Jones industrial average fell 53.02, or 0.2 percent, to 24,370.24, and the Nasdaq composite rose 11.31, or 0.2 percent, to 7,031.83. Slightly more stocks fell on the New York Stock Exchange than rose.

THE QUOTE: “U.S.-China trade developments appear to be the outstanding item set to aid Asia markets,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore. “Much needed positive news in the form of auto tariff reduction underpinned the early optimism.”

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 64 cents to $52.29 a barrel. It rose 65 cents to settle at $51.65 per barrel Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 67 cents to $60.87.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.49 Japanese yen from 113.08 yen late Tuesday. The euro slipped to $ 1.1333 from $1.1384.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

On Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en

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