Asian shares mixed as officials mum on China-US trade talks


LONDON (AP) — Global stock markets tracked Wall Street higher Tuesday but investors remained alert for any developments in China-U.S. trade talks in Beijing.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 0.8 percent to 10,832 while the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares advanced 1.1 percent to 6,895 and France’s CAC-40 was 1.5 percent higher at 4,785. U.S. stocks were poised to make further gains at the bell with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.8 percent.

CHINA-US: Talks between the two on ending their tariff war were ending their second day without word on whether they’ve made any progress. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Dec. 1 to postpone more tariff hikes on each other’s goods for 90 days while they negotiate. But neither side appears to have budged, and economists say three months is too little time to resolve issues that have disrupted U.S.-Chinese relations for years. Hopes of a breakthrough have helped global stock markets start the new year on the front foot.

ANALYST TAKE: “In the short-term, hopes of progress between the U.S. and China have provided the underpinning for the rally, but given the inability of both sides to agree it makes sense to expect these hopes to be dashed in due course,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.8 percent to 20,204.04 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.2 percent to 25,875.45. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gained 0.7 percent to 5,722.40 but the South Korean Kospi gave up 0.5 percent to 2,026.23.

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ENERGY: Like stocks, oil prices continued their recent rally. U.S. crude gained 78 cents to $49.30 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. After sinking to an 18-month low of $42.53 a barrel on Dec. 24, the price of U.S. crude rose for seven of the last eight trading days. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 96 cents at $8.28 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.1463 while the dollar was steady at 108.70 yen.

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