Asian stocks edge up on hopes for progress on trade

Published: February 19, 2019 13:01:24 | Updated: February 20, 2019 12:23:29

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Asian shares were mostly higher on Tuesday as Chinese and US officials prepare for trade talks in Washington this week.

The Shanghai Composite index added 0.3 per cent to 2,762.73 in early trading, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged 0.1 per cent higher to 21,297.67.

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 climbed 0.4 per cent to 6,116.70 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.2 per cent to 28,406.18. Shares were mostly higher in Southeast Asia and flat in South Korea.

A truce on tariff increases between the US and China expires March 2 and will leave the US free to more than double import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

US markets were closed Monday for President’s Day, reports Reuters.

US crude added 20 cents to $56.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.19 on Monday.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 31 cents to $66.19 per barrel.

The dollar strengthened to 110.50 yen from 110.60 yen on Monday. The euro slipped to $1.1302 from $1.1309.

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