Investors were encouraged by a Chinese government statement Thursday that its penalties on U.S. imports are adequate. That suggested Beijing might be pausing in a tit-for-tat cycle of tariff hikes by both sides that has fueled fears the global economy might tip into recession.
The comment was "temporary relief for markets," said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. However, Pan cautioned it was in line with the view that Beijing "may delay a deal until the 2020 U.S. elections." Some analysts say Beijing might be waiting for President Donald Trump's re-election campaign in hopes he will feel pressure to strike a deal — or is holding out to negotiate with his successor if he loses.
"This could still make for prolonged trade uncertainty," said Pan. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2% to 2,897.59 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1.2% to 20,698.02. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 0.7% higher at 25,880.12.
Seoul's Kospi rose 1.8% to 1,965.09 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 1.5% to 6,604.20. India's Sensex was off less than 0.1% at 37,046.10. Markets in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia rose. On Wall Street, stocks finished Thursday with broad gains, driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than 300 points higher.
The S&P 500 index rose 1.3% to 2,924.58. The Dow climbed 1.3% to 26,362.25. The Nasdaq gained 1.5% to 7,973.39. The S&P 500 is on track for its first weekly gain in five weeks. Anxiety about the U.S.-Chinese trade fight fueled market volatility this month.
Washington and Beijing are deadlocked in talks over U.S. complaints about China's trade surplus and industry plans its trading partners say are based on stealing or pressuring companies to hand over technology.
Negotiators are due to meet next month in Washington after the latest round of talks in July in Shanghai produced no sign of progress. ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 12 cents to $56.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 93 cents on Thursday to close at $56.71. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 5 cents to $60.54 per barrel in London. It gained 56 cents the previous session to $60.49.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 106.38 yen from Thursday's 106.52 yen. The euro retreated to $1.1049 from $1.1057.