Asian shares were rising Thursday amid renewed hopes a U.S. trade deal with China may be nearing, despite tough recent talk from President Donald Trump.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225

NIK, +0.69%

  gained 0.7% in early trading, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, +1.05%

  added nearly 1%. South Korea’s Kospi

180721, -0.53%

  slipped 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng

HSI, +0.33%

  was up 0.4% while the Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, +0.32%

  rose 0.4%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, +0.66%

 , Singapore

STI, +0.51%

  and Indonesia

JAKIDX, +0.44%


Among individual stocks, Nippon Steel

5401, +6.07%

  jumped in Tokyo trading, while SoftBank

9984, +1.71%

,  Fast Retailing

9983, +0.53%

  and Honda

7267, +1.29%

  also posted gains. In Hong Kong, Apple component makers Sunny Optical

2382, +3.61%

  and AAC

2018, +2.72%

 surged, and oil producer CNOOC

883, +1.08%

  also rose. Hyundai Motor

005380, -2.46%

  sank in South Korea after announcing a $52 billion investment in electric and autonomous cars over the next five years. Beach Energy

BPT, +3.90%

  and Woodside Petroleum

WPL, +2.16%

  gained in Australia.

Shares on Wall Street finished higher Wednesday, with the gains snapped a three-day losing streak for the S&P 500. The U.S. market has swung sharply for months on every hint of progress about talks between the world’s largest economies, and Asian regional indexes have tended to reflect those fluctuations.

In the latest development, Bloomberg News reported that U.S. negotiators expect a “Phase 1” trade agreement to be completed before U.S. tariffs are set to rise on Chinese products Dec. 15.

The report came a day after Trump said he wouldn’t mind waiting until after the 2020 elections for a deal, a remark that officials reportedly called off the cuff but nevertheless sent markets skidding.

“The trade war will be the key driver of sentiment in the immediate few weeks,” DBS Group analysts wrote in a report.

The S&P 500

SPX, +0.63%

  rose 19.56 points, or 0.6%, to 3,112.76. Despite recovering some losses, the index is still down 0.9% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.53%

  climbed 146.97 points, or 0.5%, to 27,649.78. The Nasdaq composite

COMP, +0.54%

  gained 46.03 points, or 0.5%, to 8,566.67.

Benchmark U.S. crude

CLF20, -0.38%

  lost 21 cents to $58.22 a barrel. It climbed $2.33, or 4.2%, to $58.43 per barrel Wednesday, as members of OPEC prepare to meet later this week and vote on production levels. Brent crude

BRNG20, -0.16%

 , the international standard, slipped 7 cents to $62.93.

The dollar

USDJPY, -0.02%

  rose to 108.91 Japanese yen from 108.68 yen Wednesday.

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