Asian stocks rise as Biden, Xi hold video summit

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Tuesday as President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping held a summit meeting by video link.

Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong advanced. Sydney fell.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost less than 0.1% as makers of household goods rose and health care stocks fell.

Biden told Xi their goal should be to ensure competition “does not veer into conflict.” The two leaders met amid tension over trade, technology, human rights, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Xi said he was ready to “build consensus” and said the two sides need to improve communication.

The meeting “will dominate the session ahead,” though White House officials have “tempered expectations for any meaningful progress” in relations, Anderson Alves of ActivTrades said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% to 3,544.47 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.5% to 29,931.87. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was 0.7% higher at 25,575.40.

The Kospi in Seoul gained less than 0.1% to 3,001.62 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.5% to 7,434.50. New Zealand and Jakarta declined while Singapore and Bangkok advanced.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined to 4,682.80. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell less than 0.1% to 36,087.45. The Nasdaq lost less than 0.1% to 15,853.85.

Investors are shifting focus from the latest corporate profits to economic issues that will determine growth into 2022. That includes supply chain problems and rising inflation.

Investors will be watching for any signs inflation is crimping business operations or consumer spending. Businesses have raised prices to pass along higher costs of materials. Consumers have taken that in stride, but analysts worry they might start to pull back on spending.

Investors also are waiting to see whether Biden decides to nominate Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell for a new term to lead the U.S. central bank.

Also Tuesday, the Commerce Department was due to report U.S. retail sales.

Chinese data reported Monday showed October retail sales growth weakened compared with the previous month, weakened by anti-coronavirus restrictions and consumer unease over a wave of outbreaks.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 53 cents per barrel to $81.41 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract advanced 9 cents Monday to $80.88. Brent crude, used as the price basis for international oils, added 64 cents to $82.69 per barrel in London. It sank 12 cents the previous session to $82.05 per barrel.

The dollar rose to 114.21 yen from Monday’s 114.09 yen. The euro was unchanged at $1.1386.

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