Asian markets advanced in early trading Friday following reassuring moves by central banks and as trade negotiations resumed between the U.S. and China.

Mid-level talks were held in Washington on Thursday for the first time in almost two months as U.S. and Chinese negotiators attempted to find common ground to pave the way for high-level talks scheduled for October. Reuters reported that the talks, which will end Friday, will focus mainly on agricultural issues, with sessions also scheduled for intellectual property and forced transfer of technology.

But White House adviser Michael Pillsbury, in an interview with the South China Morning Post, warned that if a trade deal is not reached soon, the U.S. could escalate its tariffs on Chinese goods to 50% or even 100%.

Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China cut its one-year loan prime rate from 4.25% to 4.20%, as expected. That came after the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday cut interest rates for the second time this summer, and the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged, though it hinted at further easing later in the year.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, +0.42%

  rose 0.4% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, +0.03%

  advanced 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, +0.17%

  inched up 0.1% while the Shenzhen Composite

399106, +0.09%

 gained 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi

180721, +0.37%

  ticked up 0.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, +0.22%

 , Singapore

STI, +0.02%

  and Indonesia

JAKIDX, -0.41%

  were little changed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, +0.66%

  rose 0.6%.

Among individual stocks, e-commerce company Rakuten

4755, +3.54%

  gained in Tokyo trading, along with SoftBank

9984, +1.43%

  and Casio

6952, +2.25%

 . In Hong Kong, New World Development

17, +1.39%

  and Sunny Optical

2382, +0.25%

  rose, while AAC

2018, -2.77%

  fell. Kia Motors

000270, +1.03%

  advanced in South Korea and Foxconn

2354, +1.69%

  rose in Taiwan. Fortescue Metals

FMG, -1.44%

  slid in Australia, while Woolworths

WOW, +1.10%

  gained.

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2019-09-19