Possible US-China trade talks push Japanese markets higher

Published: August 17, 2018 13:13:47 | Updated: August 18, 2018 13:19:23


Japanese shares rose on Friday morning as trade tensions between US-China appeared to ease and gains in US shares supported the markets sentiment, but chip-related stocks fell.

Japan’s Nikkei share average rose 0.5 per cent to 22,303.69 in midmorning trade. The benchmark index is on track to end the week little changed, following two straight weeks of declines.

Investors await developments in the US-China trade conflict after the two countries said on Thursday they would hold lower-level trade talks next week.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the talks in Washington would take place on Aug. 21 and 22, just before $16 billion in new US tariffs on Chinese goods take effect, along with an equal amount of retaliatory tariffs from Beijing.

Cyclical stocks such as shippers, metal firms and financials outperformed. Mitsui OSK Lines surged 2.2 per cent, Sumitomo Metal Mining advanced 2.1 per cent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 1.7 per cent, reports Reuters.

Chip equipment makers were sold, with Tokyo Electron falling 1.4 per cent and Screen Holdings down 2.7 per cent after Applied Materials Inc forecast current-quarter profit and revenue below Wall Street estimates.

The broader Topix added 0.6 per cent to 1,697.11.

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