Asian shares climb as Trump says U.S. China trade deal near

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By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian shares rose on Wednesday and European stocks looked set for gains after U.S. President Donald Trump said negotiators were close to inking an initial trade deal, while expectations the Federal Reserve will keep rates low underpinned sentiment.

Trump’s upbeat comments on trade stoked confidence in Asia with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan () up 0.29%. Australian shares () added 0.93% and Japan’s Nikkei () rose 0.39%.

In Europe, pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures () were up 0.16% at 3,710, German DAX futures () gained 0.16% to 13,262.5 and futures () rose 0.1% to 7,412.

Chinese blue-chip shares (), in contrast, dropped 0.21% after the data showed profits at China’s industrial firms declined in annual terms for the third consecutive month in October. The decline tracked sustained drops in producer prices and exports and underscored slowing momentum in the world’s second-largest economy.

Trump said on Tuesday the United States and China are close to agreement on the first phase of a trade deal after top negotiators from the two countries spoke by telephone and agreed to keep working on remaining issues.

The positive mood pushed Wall Street indexes to fresh record closing highs on Tuesday. But while Trump said Washington was in the “final throes” of work on a trade deal with Beijing, he also underscored U.S. support for protesters in Hong Kong, seen as a sore point for Beijing.

Trump’s comments came alongside softer-than-expected economic data from the United States, which showed a fourth straight monthly contraction in consumer confidence and an unexpected drop in new home sales in October.

However, consumer confidence still remained at levels able to support steady consumer spending, and the housing data for September was revised up, with purchases touching more than 12-year highs.

Kay Van-Petersen, global macro strategist at Saxo Capital Markets in Singapore, said while U.S.-China trade headlines may be driving some tactical, near-term moves in the market, they were mostly just “noise”.

The broader market direction is “about the accommodative Fed and accommodative monetary policy and the fact that structurally the meta-trend is still lower in yields and rates,” he said.

Some analysts said a fall in U.S. bond yields on Tuesday also pointed to more mechanical explanations beyond trade for rising equity prices.

“It reinforces the notion that it really is the Fed pump-priming to grease the wheels of market liquidity which is driving both these moves,” Greg McKenna, strategist at McKenna Macro, said in a morning note.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Monday monetary policy was “well positioned” to support the strong U.S. labor market.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average () rose 0.2% to 28,121.68, the S&P 500 () gained 0.22% to 3,140.52 and the Nasdaq Composite () added 0.18% to 8,647.93. All three indexes notched record closing highs.

On Wednesday, the rally in U.S. Treasuries moderated across the curve, with benchmark 10-year notes () yielding 1.7431%, up from their U.S. close of 1.74% on Tuesday.

The two-year yield (), watched as a guide to market expectations of Fed policy, rose to 1.5939% compared with a U.S. close of 1.586%.

In currency markets, the dollar strengthened 0.11% against the yen to 109.15 and the euro () weakened 0.08% to buy $1.1009.

The (), which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.09% at 98.341.

Oil prices retreated after rising Tuesday on reassuring trade headlines. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude () was down 0.21% at $58.29 per barrel.

Global benchmark Brent crude () lost 0.11% to $64.20 per barrel.

Gold was lower, changing hands at $1,458.33 per ounce on the spot market , down 0.2%. [GOL/]

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