Asia Markets

Asia markets gain amid hopes of progress as US-China trade talks conclude

Key Points
  • Asia markets saw gains on Wednesday as investors remained cautiously optimistic Beijing and Washington could move forward on a trade deal.
  • Investors watched developments on the U.S.-China trade front after negotiations between the world's two largest economies extended into an unscheduled third day, according to Reuters.

Asia markets saw gains on Wednesday as investors remained cautiously optimistic about trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, which wrapped up on Wednesday after three days.

Japan's Nikkei 225 advanced 1.1 percent to close at 20,427.06 while the Topix also gained 1.1 percent to finish its trading day at 1,535.11, with almost all sectors rising.

South Korea's Kospi gained nearly 2 percent to close at 2,064.71. Shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics advanced 3.94 percent and steelmaker Posco rose 4.07 percent. Shares of chipmaker SK Hynix also soared 7.43 percent.

Australia's benchmark rose nearly 1 percent to close at 5,778.3, with all sectors advancing. The energy subindex added 1.94 percent as oil stocks mostly gained; shares of Santos rose 1.4 percent, Woodside Petroleum higher by 2.25 percent and Beach Energy surged 5.17 percent.

The moves in the oil sector Down Under came on the back of Tuesday's strong gain in oil prices, with the rally extending into Wednesday. In the afternoon of Asian trade, international benchmark Brent crude futures gained 1.14 percent to $59.39 per barrel while U.S. crude futures advanced 1.23 percent to $50.39 per barrel.

Trade talks wrap up

Trade talks between Washington and Beijing concluded on Wednesday, and China's Foreign Ministry said results would soon be released. Negotiations between the world's two largest economies extended into an unscheduled third day.

The mainland Chinese markets also saw gains on Wednesday, with the Shanghai composite rising around 0.71 percent to close at about 2,544.34 while the Shenzhen composite advanced 0.543 percent to finish its trading day at approximately 1,306.95. The Shenzhen component also climbed up by 0.761 percent to close at 7,447.93.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped more than 2.1 percent, as of its final hour of trade. Shares of Chinese tech juggernaut Tencent soared more than 3 percent.

Electronics company Xiaomi, on the other hand, saw its stock drop about 6 percent after J.P. Morgan slashed its price target on the stock. Expressing confidence in the stock's long-term value, Xiaomi announced Wednesday that its controlling shareholders "shall not dispose of any shares of the Company directly or indirectly beneficially owned by them" for the next 365 days.

One analyst said markets are holding on to optimism over the extended trade talks.

"It is not over until the fat lady has sung," Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a morning note.

"First, a joint statement ... after this round of talks are concluded will perhaps be a more meaningful gauge on what both sides have tentatively agreed on," Varathan said. "Second, even if a deal is cobbled together, the more strident trade hawks in the White House and Trump may not sign off. And we have watched that movie before."

"Finally, there is a nagging sense that a preliminary agreement here is likely to fall short of the "comprehensive deal" Trump banged on about at the G20," he added.

The new round of talks began on Monday as the two countries seek to strike an agreement amidst the ongoing trade war, which saw the U.S. and China slap punitive tariffs on each other's goods.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.777 after seeing highs above 96 in the previous session.

The Japanese yen, widely seen as a safe-haven currency, traded at 108.97 against the greenback after seeing an earlier high of 108.66 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7155 after seeing lows above $0.711 in the previous session.

— Reuters and CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.