Asia Markets: Asian markets mixed on new optimism for U.S.-China trade deal

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Asian shares were mixed after an upbeat start Tuesday on optimism over U.S.-China trade talks, prompted by Beijing’s new guidelines for the protection of patents and copyrights.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 NIK, +0.37%   advanced 0.6% in morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.75%   gained 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, +0.49%   added 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, -0.11%  and the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.00%   were both about flat.

Among individual stocks, Sony 6758, +1.58%   gained in Tokyo trading, along with Nintendo 7974, +0.73%  and Rakuten 4755, +1.18%  . In Hong Kong, Alibaba surged more than 6% after the opening bell, in a massive secondary offering. Geely Automobile 175, +2.09%   and Sunny Optical 2382, +2.71%   also gained. Samsung 005930, +1.74%   rose in South Korea, while Beach Energy BPT, +1.92%   advanced in Australia.

Gains on Wall Street were led by technology companies after China’s announcement of new, stronger guidelines for protecting patents, copyrights and other intellectual property. Piracy is a sore point in U.S.-China trade tensions. Markets saw China’s latest move as an encouraging sign for negotiations on the first phase of a deal to end a punishing tariff war between the two biggest economies.

“There is renewed hope on some progress of U.S.-China trade talk after China’s state-backed news media Global Times said that both sides are ‘very close’ to phase one deal,” said Zhu Huani, at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

An announcement by China’s Commerce Ministry early Tuesday that top trade negotiators from both sides spoke by phone and agreed to continue talks did not seem to spur significant gains. That might be because the vaguely worded notice did not mention specifics or indicated how much progress has been made.

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.75%   rose 23.35 points, or 0.8%, to 3,133.64. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.68%   climbed 190.85, or 0.7%, to 28,066.47, and the Nasdaq COMP, +1.32%  umped 112.60, or 1.3%, to 8,632.49. All three indexes set records.

In the U.S., stocks have been rallying for weeks as worries about a possible recession have faded. A resilient job market, which helps households continue to spend, and three interest-rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve have bolstered confidence.

Benchmark crude oil CLF20, -0.14%   fell 3 cents to $57.98 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 24 cents to $58.01 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil BRNF20, -0.02%  , the international standard, lost 2 cents to $62.60 a barrel.

The dollar USDJPY, +0.07%   rose to 108.99 Japanese yen from 108.93 yen on Monday.

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