Asian markets rose in early trading Friday on news that Chinese officials have more interest in renewed trade negotiations with the U.S. than retaliation for new tariffs.

China’s Commerce Ministry was quoted Thursday as saying China would not immediately respond to the Trump administration’s latest tariff hikes — some of which are scheduled to take effect Sept. 1. The spokesman added that the two sides had been discussing details of new face-to-face trade talks scheduled for next month.

That boosted stocks on Wall Street on Thursday, with the major indexes rising more than 1.2% each.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, +1.19%

  gained 1.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, +0.69%

  rose 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, +0.23%

  edged up 0.2% while the Shenzhen Composite

399106, +0.16%

  advanced 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi

180721, +1.85%

 gained 1.8% as the country’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged, as analysts expected, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, +1.20%

 , Singapore

STI, +0.78%

 , Malaysia

FBMKLCI, +0.62%

  and Indonesia

JAKIDX, +0.41%

  posted gains. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, +1.49%

  rose 1.3%.

Among individual stocks, Japan Steel Works

5631, +6.38%

  surged in Tokyo trading, while Rakuten

4755, +4.72%

 , robotics maker Fanuc

6954, +3.12%

 and SoftBank

9984, +2.60%

  rose as well. In Hong Kong, oil producer CNOOC

883, +6.67%

  and Apple supplier Sunny Optical

2382, +6.22%

  gained, along with Tencent

700, +1.81%

  and AIA Group

1299, +0.72%

 . Samsung

005930, +1.84%

 , LG Electronics

066570, +2.84%

  and SK Hynix

000660, +5.59%

  shot up in South Korea, while Foxconn

2354, +1.29%

  and Largan Precision

3008, +1.30%

  rose in Taiwan. In Australia, Beach Energy

BPT, +4.08%

 , Oil Search

OSH, +2.70%

  and mining giant Rio Tinto

RIO, +2.37%


Investors were encouraged by a Chinese government statement Thursday that its penalties on U.S. imports are adequate. That suggested Beijing might be pausing in a tit-for-tat cycle of tariff hikes by both sides that has fueled fears the fight will tip the global economy into recession.

The Chinese comment was a “temporary relief for markets,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. However, Pan cautioned it was in line with the view that Beijing “may delay a deal until the 2020 U.S. elections.”

Some analysts say Beijing might be hoping to strike a more favorable deal if Trump is under pressure during his re-election campaign — or might hold out to negotiate with his successor if he loses.

“This could still make for prolonged trade uncertainty,” said Pan.

The S&P 500 index

SPX, +1.27%

  rose 1.3% to 2,924.58. The Dow

DJIA, +1.25%

  climbed 1.3% to 26,362.25. The Nasdaq

COMP, +1.48%

  gained 1.5% to 7,973.39. The S&P 500 is on track for its first weekly gain in five weeks.

Anxiety about the U.S.-Chinese trade fight fueled market volatility this month.

Washington and Beijing are deadlocked in talks over U.S. complaints about China’s trade surplus and industry plans its trading partners say are based on stealing or pressuring companies to hand over technology.

Tit-for-tat tariff hikes by both sides have depressed trade, prompting fears the fight might tip the global economy into recession.

Negotiators are due to meet next month in Washington after the latest round of talks in July in Shanghai produced no sign of progress.

Benchmark U.S. crude

CLV19, -0.23%

  fell 20 cents to $56.51 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 93 cents on Thursday to close at $56.71. Brent crude

BRNV19, +0.03%

 , used to price international oils, shed 9 cents to $60.40 per barrel in London. It gained 56 cents the previous session to $60.49.

The dollar

USDJPY, -0.12%

  declined to 106.44 yen from Thursday’s 106.52 yen.

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