Asia Markets: Asian markets surge; Chinese stocks jump as trade tensions ease

Asian stock markets jumped in early trading Friday, reflecting investor relief about upcoming trade talks between China and the U.S., as well as the dollar‘s gains against a basket of major currencies including the yen.

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he had a good talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and that trade talks were “moving along nicely.” The two will meet formally later this month, with investors hoping a deal will be reached to ease trade tensions.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, +2.21%

  recovered after yesterday’s losses, and was last up 1%. Earnings season cast a pall on some stocks though. Suzuki Motor Corp.

7269, -2.84%

  was down 4% following its earnings report after the closing bell yesterday. Its second-quarter operating profit slid 6.6% amid weaker sales in Europe, China and India — its biggest market. After a down day Thursday, telecoms rallied Friday, with Nippon Telegraph Telephone

9432, +6.22%

  up 5% and NTT DoCoMo

9437, +3.92%

  rising 2%.

Chinese benchmarks were sharply higher amid hopes of easing the trade conflict, with the Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, +2.01%

  up 1% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite

399106, +2.55%

  advancing 1.7%. Insurers and brokerage firms led the gains while oil stocks were muted as oil prices slumped.

Hong Kong stocks surged, with the Hang Seng Index

HSI, +3.56%

  up 2.3%. Sunny Optical

2382, +9.25%

 jumped 7% with index heavyweight Tencent

0700, +7.27%

  adding 6%. Auto stocks saw renewed buying with Great Wall

2333, +8.32%

  and Geely Auto

0175, +8.85%

  up 4.7% and 5% respectively. Among casino stocks, Galaxy Entertainment

0027, +8.57%

 rose 7% and Wynn Macau

1128, +10.76%

  gained 9%. “The attitudes of both Chinese and U.S. leaders have been productive, bringing more positivity to the meeting at the end of the month,” said UOB Kay Hian stock strategist Ivan Ip.

Apple Inc.

AAPL, +1.54%

  component manufacturers were mostly unaffected by the tech giant’s after-hours slump following record quarterly earnings but a warning of slower holiday sales. Taiwan’s Taiex

Y9999, +0.15%

  rose, as Foxconn

2354, +0.91%

  , Taiwan Semiconductor

2330, +0.00%

 and Largan Precision

3008, +4.95%

  all gained. South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, +2.78%

 was up more than 2% as Samsung

005930, +3.80%

 and SK Hynix

000660, +4.54%

  gained.

Australia’s ASX 200

XJO, -0.09%

  was the region’s only loser, as the energy and financial sectors pulled down the index. Oil Search Limited

OSH, -1.42%

  was off 2% and ANZ Bank

ANZ, -1.62%

  was off 1.3%. New Zealand’s benchmark index

NZ50GR, -0.09%

  rose slightly.

Benchmark indexes in Singapore

STI, +1.22%

 , Malaysia

FBMKLCI, +0.00%

  and Indonesia

JAKIDX, +0.07%

  were also up.

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