Asian shares mixed following Wall Street rally
TOKYO – Asian shares were mixed after an upbeat start Tuesday on optimism over U.S.-China trade talks, prompted by Beijing’s new guidelines for the protection of patents and copyrights.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 advanced 0.6% in morning trading to 23,431.74. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.7% to 6,774.90. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4% to 2,131.92. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.1% at 26,969.25, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.1% to 2,905.07.
Gains on Wall Street were led by technology companies after China’s announcement of new, stronger guidelines for protecting patents, copyrights and other intellectual property. Piracy is a sore point in U.S.-China trade tensions.
Markets saw China’s latest move as an encouraging sign for negotiations on the first phase of a deal to end a punishing tariff war between the two biggest economies.
“There is renewed hope on some progress of U.S.-China trade talk after China’s state-backed news media Global Times said that both sides are ‘very close’ to phase one deal,” said Zhu Huani, at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.
An announcement by China’s Commerce Ministry early Tuesday that top trade negotiators from both sides spoke by phone and agreed to continue talks did not seem to spur significant gains. That might be because the vaguely worded notice did not mention specifics or indicated how much progress has been made.
The S&P 500 rose 23.35 points, or 0.8%, to 3,133.64. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 190.85, or 0.7%, to 28,066.47, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 112.60, or 1.3%, to 8,632.49. All three indexes set records.
The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks rose even more, though it is still below its peak set last year. It surged 32.96, or 2.1%, to 1,621.90.
In the U.S., stocks have been rallying for weeks as worries about a possible recession have faded. A resilient job market, which helps households continue to spend, and three interest-rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve have bolstered confidence.
ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil fell 3 cents to $57.98 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 24 cents to $58.01 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, lost 2 cents to $62.60 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 108.99 Japanese yen from 108.93 yen on Monday. The euro was unchanged at $1.1013.
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