Asian markets have shrugged off negative sentiment caused by increased tensions between the U.S. and China after Beijing said it had invited U.S. negotiators to a face-to-face meeting. There is still no phase one deal in place, but the news has restored hope that a deal can be done before the end of the year.
In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite is rising 0.6% in early trade, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite is leading as it advances 0.8%. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng has a 0.5% gain, although things remain tense due to the ongoing protests.
In Japan, the Nikkei has gained 0.7% in morning trade thanks to weakness in the Yen versus the USD late yesterday and in early Asian trade today. Shares of Sony are up 1.1%, but Nintendo is sliding 2.8% lower. Financials are doing well, with Mitsubishi UFJ up 0.7%, while Dai-ichi Life Insurance has a 1.8% gain.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 trades 0.6% higher as the afternoon gets started in Sydney. The big four banks are mixed, with Commonwealth Bank rising 0.4%, NAB advancing 0.2%, ANZ flat, and Westpac down 1.4% as it continues to struggle under the weight of money laundering accusations.
Southeast Asian markets are mixed, with Singapore’s Straits Times trading 0.4% higher, but the KLCI in Malaysia and the Jakarta Composite in Indonesia both 0.1% lower.