Asian stocks poised to rise amid hope for US-China trade dispute

Asian stocks poised to rise amid hope for US-China trade dispute
Asian stocks poised to rise amid hope for US-China trade dispute

Asian stocks were set to rise on Wednesday, taking cues from the positive session seen stateside and following news that the U.S. and China may restart official talks about their months-long trade dispute.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.54 percent compared to the index's Tuesday close and Australian SPI futures were higher by 0.31 percent at the end of their last session.

Wall Street advanced on Tuesday, which was also the last trading day of the month. For July, U.S. stocks recorded their largest monthly gains since January amid robust corporate earnings and economic data.

The gains followed news that the U.S. and China are attempting to restart trade talks.

Representatives of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are in private talks to resume negotiations on trade matters in a bid to avoid a trade war, Bloomberg News reported, citing two sources. Mnuchin had told CNBC last week that "quiet conversations" with Beijing continued to take place.

The latest development in the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies came after U.S. tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods took effect early in July, a move that was swiftly met with retaliation from Beijing.

Earnings season also continued stateside. Around 60 percent of S&P 500 companies having already reported results, with 82 percent of those announcing expectation-topping earnings, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.43 percent, or 108.36 points, to close at 25,415.19, the S&P 500 rose 0.49 percent to 2,816.29 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.55 percent to finish the session at 7,671.79.

In currencies, the dollar was firmer ahead of the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, with overnight news related to trade also supporting the currency. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, last stood at 94.493.

Against the yen, the dollar traded at 111.74 at 7:04 a.m. HK/SIN, with the Japanese currency softer after the Bank of Japan kept policy steady and made some minor communication tweaks on Tuesday.

What's on tap

Here's the economic calendar for Wednesday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 8:00 a.m.: South Korea July trade data
  • 8:30 a.m.: Japan Nikkei manufacturing PMI
  • 9:45 a.m.: China Caixin manufacturing PMI

The Reserve Bank of India is slated to makes its interest rate decision at 5:00 p.m. HK/SIN. Stateside, the Federal Open Market Committee will conclude its two-day meeting during U.S. hours and is expected to keep rates on hold.

— CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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