Asian Shares Rebound, Extending Wall Street Gains

A Chinese man monitors stock prices at a brokerage in Beijing on Friday. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Asian shares rebounded Friday on hopes for progress in trade talks between China and the U.S., extending overnight gains on Wall Street.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.9% to 21,449.27 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.1% to 28,772.46. The Shanghai Composite index rose 1% to 2,930.58, while in South Korea, the Kospi added 1.2% to 2,092.20. India’s Sensex slipped 0.5% to 38,688.30. Shares rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke with their Chinese counterparts as planned, with more talks to come, helped ease concerns over the deepening trade war between Washington and Beijing.

The standoff over China’s longstanding trade surpluses and its policies aimed at building up advanced high-tech industries has added to concerns over slowing demand and weaker Chinese growth.

Expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will move quickly to cut interest rates has also helped buoy sentiment.

“Asia equity markets continue to revel amidst the backdrop of lower U.S. interest rates and a weaker U.S. dollar,” Stephen Innes of Vanguard Markets said in a commentary.

Overnight, U.S. stocks reversed course from an early slump, closing higher Thursday as a rally in technology and bank stocks helped break a two-day losing streak.

Corporate earnings are in full swing and investors have been cautiously assessing results and company statements.

The latest batch of results are providing a better picture of the economy after months of ups and downs in the market because of policy concerns and lingering trade disputes.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.4% to 2,995.11. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 3.12 points to 27,222.97 after falling as much as 151 points earlier. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3%, to 8,207.24.

Market indexes were down most of the day after Netflix plunged 10.3% in heavy trading and took other communications companies down with it.

Financial results remain a mixed bag. Only about 13% of S&P 500 companies have reported, according to FactSet, and analysts expect profits to fall 2.4% overall when every report is tallied.