By MarketWatch and Associated Press
Stocks up 2% in Hong Kong, South Korea; Nikkei rises more than 1%
Asian stock markets surged in early trading Wednesday as traders turned optimistic after trade talks between the U.S. and China were extended for a third day.
President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the mid-level talks in Beijing were "going very well," and Bloomberg News reported the president was eager to reach a deal in hopes that it would boost the sagging stock market. While the current talks are not expected to resolve trade tensions, officials have said they hope they can serve as a stepladder to more fruitful negotiations.
The talks were "fuelling investor optimism suggesting there might be a light at the end of the trade war tumultuous tunnel," Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda, said in a Wednesday research note. "Markets already hope the base case scenario to be favorable and talks to continue into Davos later this month."
Japan's Nikkei rose 1.4%, as Nintendo jumped about 3% and beverage maker Sapporo Holdings surged 5%. Nippon Steel gained 1.7% despite its South Korean assets being frozen over a World War II-era dispute over compensation for forced laborers.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 2.4%, as Apple component makers AAC and Sunny Optical soared after a report that Apple will cut iPhone production by 10% this quarter. Geely Automotive (0175.HK) shares rallied after being hammered Tuesday after issuing a disappointing forecast.
In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite advanced 1.5% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite rose 1.5%.
South Korea's Kospi rose nearly 2% behind gains by Samsung , LG Electronics and steel maker Posco .
Australia's ASX 200 gained nearly 1% as energy stocks such as Beach Energy and Woodside Petroleum rallied on rising oil prices. Apple suppliers such as Foxconn and Largan Precision helped fuel gains for Taiwan's Taiex , and Singapore's benchmark rose 1%.
Markets appeared unfazed by a prime-time address Trump gave Tuesday night on border security. "Trump did not declare a national emergency, nor did he hint toward one, which might have been a fear before the speech," Innes said in his note. Meanwhile, "currencies are holding firm riding the wave sentiment from the positive buzz in U.S.-China trade talks."
The dollar climbed to 108.91 yen from 108.75 yen.
Oil prices also continued to rally. U.S. crude rose 80 cents to $50.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It has risen for eight of the past nine days and gained 2.6% to $49.78 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude , used to price international oils, added 79 cents to $59.51 per barrel. It gained 2.4% to $58.72 a barrel in London.