Asian shares near eight-month highs

Asian shares held near an eight-month peak on Thursday as investors awaited developments on Sino-U.S. trade talks, with both sides appearing closer to signing a deal and improved risk appetite weighing on safe-haven assets like the yen.

Asian shares

  • Chinese shares started firm with the blue-chip index up 0.9 percent.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was a tad softer.
  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan took a breather after five straight days of gains took it to its highest since late August.
  • Japan’s Nikkei nudged 0.2 percent higher to stay near a recent one-month top.
  • The Dow rose 0.15 percent.
  • S&P 500 gained 0.21 percent and the Nasdaq 0.6 percent.

Currency

  • The greenback was subdued on Thursday, easing against a basket of currencies to 97.051.
  • The euro edged up to $1.1244.
  • Sterling gained to $1.3177 as Prime Minister Theresa May is meeting opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock, which has sparked fury among hardline Brexiteers.

Commodities

  • In commodity markets, spot gold nudged up to $1,292.21 per ounce.
  • U.S. crude eased 6 cents to $62.4.
  • Brent crude rose 1 cent to $69.32.

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