U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures gaining 0.3% to 28,040. S&P 500 futures were up 0.2% at 3,124. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.5% to finish at 23,416.76. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4% to 6,766.80. South Korea’s Kospi was little changed, slipping less than 0.1% to 2,160.69. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.3% to 26,665.26, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.6% at 2,909.20.
“Market focus this week will still lies on the U.S.-China trade talk, and updates in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s domestic economy is on the verge of a recession as the recent riot has adversely hurt its retail, service, tourism, aviation, education sectors and has caused severe reputational damage to the city as one of Asia’s most important financial hubs,” said Margaret Yang Yan, analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.
Investors have been encouraged by surprisingly good corporate earnings, three interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and data showing the economy is still growing solidly. Hopes that the U.S. and China can make progress in their latest push for a trade deal have also helped keep investors in a buying mood.
Traders hope the world’s two biggest economies can make a deal before new and more damaging tariffs take effect next month. Beijing is pressing Washington to roll back tariffs as part of a potential deal that the nations are trying to hammer out.
Investors are gauging how much higher stocks can go after the Dow Jones Industrial Average last week crossed 28,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record highs. ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil slid 13 cents to $57.59 a barrel. It rose 95 cents to $57.72 a barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 20 cents to $63.10 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.04 yen from 108.70 yen Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1061 from $1.1033.