U.S. shares were set for a tepid start, with Dow futures almost unchanged and S&P 500 futures down 0.1%. Market had risen on Monday, adding to gains from last week, over an easing in tension between the U.S. and Iran. Investors are now looking ahead to the signing of an initial trade deal between Washington and Beijing and the potential for future talks.
The world’s largest economies are expected to sign a so-called “Phase 1” trade agreement on Wednesday. It is seen as an opening to future negotiations that will deal with more complicated trade issues.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% to finish at 24,025.17, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.9% to 6,962.20. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.4% to 2,238.88. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.2% to 28,885.14, while the Shanghai Composite edged 0.3% lower to 3,106.82.
Across markets, worries about a recession have faded since last year as central banks cut interest rates and pumped stimulus into the global economy. In addition, the promise of the trade deal between the U.S. and China has helped lift markets in recent weeks, easing investors’ concerns of further escalation in the costly conflict.
Full details of the trade pact are due to be released after the agreement is signed at the White House on Wednesday. Wall Street will be releasing earnings reports later in the week and also have several economic reports to consider, including government reports on consumer prices, retails sales and home construction.
ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil picked up 32 cents to $58.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 96 cents to $58.08 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 47 cents to $64.67 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.98 Japanese yen from 109.93 yen on Monday. The euro was down to $1.1128 from $1.1135.