Asian shares were mostly higher Friday on investor optimism about a possible trade deal between the U.S. and Mexico before tariffs take effect.

Japan’s Nikkei 225

NIK, +0.53%

  gained nearly 0.5% in morning trading, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, +0.95%

  rose 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi

180721, +0.16%

  was up 0.4% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index

STI, +0.46%

  advanced 0.5%. Markets in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan were closed for a holiday.

Among individual stocks, Yahoo Japan

4689, +2.41%

  rose in Tokyo trading, along with Japan Steel

5631, +2.17%

  and Nintendo

7974, +1.48%

 . LG Electronics

066570, +0.90%

  and SK Hynix

000660, +0.46%

  gained in South Korea. BHP

BHP, +2.13%

  and Beach Energy

BPT, +4.76%

 advanced in Australia.

A modest Wall Street rally gained strength in the final hour of trading after Bloomberg reported that the U.S. was considering delaying a 5% tariff on Mexican goods, set to go into effect on Monday. The report came as the two countries held a second day of trade talks.

The S&P 500 index

SPX, +0.61%

  gained 17.34 points, or 0.6%, to 2,843.49. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.71%

  rose 181.09 points, or 0.7%, to 25,720.66. It briefly climbed 260 points. The Nasdaq composite

COMP, +0.53%

  reversed an early slide, adding 40.08 points, or 0.5%, to 7,615.55.

President Donald Trump said he’ll make a decision about ramping up tariffs on China after he speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping this month during the G-20 meeting in Japan, which brings together leaders of developed and developing countries.

Trump ordered tariffs of up to 25% on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese exports and his administration is preparing to extend them to $300 billion more — almost all items shipped to the U.S. from China. China has reciprocated with tariffs of its own, among other measures.

The trade dispute with Mexico and China threatens to stifle economic growth in the U.S. and globally. Uncertainty surrounding the trade negotiations has sent many traders fleeing to safer investments, like bonds and gold.

Investors are also watching the U.S. jobs data due later in the day for signs of where the economy is going.

“Asia markets look set to trail after the U.S. with moderate gains as worries on trade tuned a notch lower through the Thursday session. The attention, meanwhile, is mostly focused upon Friday’s U.S. labor market update,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

Benchmark U.S. crude

CLN19, +1.98%

  gained 58 cents to $53.17 a barrel. Brent crude oil

BRNQ19, +2.08%

 , the international standard, rose 63 cents to $62.30 a barrel.

The dollar

USDJPY, +0.07%

  rose to 108.47 Japanese yen from 108.22 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1272 from $1.1231.

Source link