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Asian Shares Rise as Japan’s Nikkei Touches 2019 High; European Stocks Firm on Trade Deal Hopes

James Hyerczyk

The major European and Asian stock indexes posted solid gains on Tuesday, following the bullish trend set on Wall Street on Monday, amid optimism over a U.S.-China trade deal. The rally in Asia was driven by regional gains with Japan’s Nikkei leading the way. In Europe, earnings continued to be the main focus for investors.

Asia Pacific Markets

Japan’s Nikkei touched its 2019 highs following Wall Street’s record performance. Japan’s benchmark jumped to a 13-month high on Tuesday after a long weekend, as U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators moved closer to sealing a preliminary deal.

Stocks were boosted after the Financial Times reported that the United States is considering dropping some tariffs on China.

China is reportedly pushing U.S. President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs imposed in September as part of a “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal, expected to be signed later this month, people familiar with the negotiations said on Monday.

Last Friday, both the U.S. and China spoke of progress in trade talks and over the weekend, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said licenses for U.S. companies to sell components to China’s Huawei Technologies will come “very shortly”.

“Political uncertainties are receding. That means those who had held off their activities, both in the real economy and financial markets, are getting active,” said Masaru Ishibashi, joint general manager of trading at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank.

Early Tuesday, while delivering an address at the China International Import Expo, Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for international tensions to be resolved through discussion, urging the removal of global trade barriers.

China Economic News

Surveys on Tuesday showed that China’s services sector slipped to an eight-month low in October, while business confidence fell to a 15-month low, according to Reuters. The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for October came in at 51.1, its lowest reading since February.

Additionally, China’s yuan currency surged past the symbolic 7 per dollar mark for the first time since August as investors became increasingly optimistic about the prospect of a trade deal.

Australian Shares Rise as RBA Holds Rates Steady

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept interest rates unchanged on Tuesday.

“The Board will continue to monitor developments, including in the labor market, and is prepared to ease monetary policy further if needed to support sustainable growth in the economy, full employment and the achievement of the inflation target over time,” RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement announcing the interest rate decision.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire