Asian stocks recovered Friday on a report by Bloomberg saying that US President Donald Trump had asked officials to draft terms for a potential trade deal with China following a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In a tweet following his conversation, Trump indicated the two leaders’ talk on the phone had focused on trade and the possibility of announcing major progress at the forthcoming G20 meeting in Argentina.
Trump’s upbeat comments came just days after he’d reiterated his administration’s threats to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports, in addition to those already in place.
Washington and Beijing have been involved in a bitter trade conflict, with US President Donald Trump heavily criticizing China’s large trade surplus with the United States and issues related to intellectual property theft that Beijing has consistently denied.
All eyes on Argentina summit
With Trump changing his tone on trade, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan extended its Friday morning gains and was up 2.5 percent by early afternoon, hitting its highest level since October 10.
Chinese blue chips gained 3 percent and startup companies added 3.8 percent, also lifted by Beijing’s pledge Thursday of more support for private firms.
Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index surged 2.56 percent, while the broader Topix was up 1.64 percent, also on hopes of a breakthrough in US-China trade relations.
hg/aos (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
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