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Asian stocks set to climb as U.S.-China trade optimism grows

Asian stocks set to climb as U.S.-China trade optimism grows
Business
Asian stocks looked set to rise on Monday following a strong U.S. session amid optimistic signs on the economy and trade discussions.

Australian shares edged higher and futures rose late Friday in Japan, Hong Kong and China after the S&P 500 climbed to a 10-week high. Reports that the U.S. and China had reached consensus in principle on the main topics in their trade negotiations helped boost risk appetite, ahead of talks that resume in Washington this week. The dollar slipped and oil pushed higher. U.S. markets are closed Monday due to a holiday.

President Donald Trump on Friday said that the U.S. is “a lot closer” to a deal with China and that he might “extend the date” on the tariff increase on Chinese goods.  (SARAH SILBIGER / The New York Times)

Trade continues to dominate markets as the two sides race to reach a deal that would avert a tariff increase on Chinese goods by March 1. At the White House Friday, President Donald Trump said that the U.S. is “a lot closer” to a deal with China and that he might “extend the date.” Over the weekend Trump said he was holding meetings on a potential deal with his staff.

Investors may also get further guidance on monetary policy this week. Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting will likely show how much conviction there was among policy-makers to suspend their interest rate hiking campaign. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks on Friday at a time when euro-area economy keeps falling short of expectations.

Here are some key events coming up:

Exchanges in the U.S. will be closed Monday for Presidents’ Day.

The Federal Reserve will on Wednesday publish minutes from its recent meeting. Bloomberg Economics thinks officials aimed to overcorrect to avoid a repeat of the negative reaction to December’s statement, so a focal point will be how much the hawks were on board with the switch.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz speaks on Thursday and Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe gives parliamentary testimony on Friday.
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