Asia stocks rise amid positive US-China trade sentiment

Stocks in Asia traded higher on Friday following hints from Beijing that it will not retaliate against the latest round of tariffs from Washington for now.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.95% in early trade as shares of index heavyweight and robot maker Fanuc surged 2.28%. The Topix index also added 0.86%.

Similar gains were seen in South Korea, where the Kospi advanced 1.31% as chipmaker SK Hynix saw its stock jump 2.86%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 traded 0.69% higher.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index gained 0.42%.

Investors were likely boosted by positive signals from Beijing on trade. Gao Feng, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, said Thursday that Beijing is willing to resolve its trade fight with Washington calmly, indicating that the Chinese are more interested in negotiations than they are on retaliating.

“We firmly reject an escalation of the trade war, and are willing to negotiate and collaborate in order to solve this problem with a calm attitude,” Feng said, according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks. He noted that the Chinese and U.S. trade delegations have maintained “effective” communication.

Meanwhile, a closely watched yield curve inversion in U.S. Treasurys remained, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note below that of the 2-year note’s rate. That has raised concerns among some investors as the phenomenon has historically preceded a recession.

Meanwhile, India is set to release its gross domestic data for the April-June quarter at 8:00 p.m. HK/SIN.

Asia-Pacific Market Indexes Chart

Overnight stateside, stocks jumped as investors on Wall Street cheered the positive developments on trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 326.15 points higher at 26,362.25 and the S&P 500 finished its trading day 1.3% higher at 2,924.58. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.5% to close at 7,973.39.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.418 after its recovery from lows below 98.0 seen earlier in the trading week.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.49 against the dollar after weakening from levels below 106.2 yesterday, while the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6732, off lows around $0.672 seen in the previous session.

Here’s a look at some of the data due today:

  • Australia: Private Sector Credit data for July at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • India: Gross domestic product for April-June quarter at 8:00 p.m. HK/SIN

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

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