Asian markets touch four-month peak
Asian markets edged up to a more than four-month high on Wednesday, lifted by optimism that the United States and China might be able to hammer out a deal to resolve their nearly year-long trade dispute.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose as much as 0.5 percent to hit its highest level since early October.
- Japan’s Nikkei average climbed 1.3 percent to mark an eight-week high.
- South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.5 percent.
- China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite gained 0.4 percent
- Blue-chip CSI 300 gained 0.6 percent.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.6 percent.
- Dow and Nasdaq each rallied about 1.5 percent overnight on optimism over U.S.-China trade negotiations
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he could see letting the March 1 deadline for reaching a trade agreement with China slide a little if the two sides were close to a complete deal.
The dollar was on the defensive as investors shifted their money to riskier assets amid the U.S.-China trade-talk hopes.
- The dollar index stood at 96.697 after its eight-day winning run came to an end overnight to push it away from a two-month peak.
- The euro was a shade higher at $1.1333 having gained 0.5 percent the previous day, when it bounced from a three-month low of $1.1258.
- The dollar was steady at 110.57 yen.
- The Aussie dollar jumped as much as 1.4 percent to a one-week high of $0.6829
Oil prices surged on Tuesday after OPEC figures showed it cut production sharply in January.
- U.S. crude oil futures were up 1.0 percent at $53.64 per barrel after rallying 1.3 percent on Tuesday.
- The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield extended an overnight rise and edged up to a near one-week high of 2.694 percent.