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Asian Markets Edge Higher Following U.S. Gains

Investing.com - Asian stocks edged up in morning trade on Friday following overnight gains on Wall Street.

China’s Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1%, while the Shenzhen Component was little changed at 7,424.8 by 11:01 PM ET (04:01 GMT).

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.2%.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He may visit Washington later in January.

"The current intent is that the Vice Premier Liu He will most likely come and visit us later in the month and I would expect the government shutdown would have no impact," said Mnuchin.

His comments came after U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S. was having "tremendous success" in its trade negotiations with China.

The two sides conclude the latest round of trade talks on Wednesday. China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement that discussions with the U.S. were “extensive and detailed,” and that both sides agreed to continue to keep in close contact.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.8%. Shares of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. (T:9983) jumped almost 5% even after the company reporting a more than 8% decline in its year-on-year operating profit for the three months ended Nov. 30.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.4%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 slipped 0.1%. Data showed on Friday morning that seasonally adjusted retail sales in the country were up 0.4% in November from October.

Overnight, the Dow and S&P 500 notched a five-day winning streak. The NASDAQ Composite also rose 0.4%.

The movements in U.S. stocks came despite Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he is “very worried” about growing amount of U.S. debts.

"I'm very worried about it," Powell said Thursday. "From the Fed's standpoint, we're really looking at a business cycle length: that's our frame of reference. The long-run fiscal, nonsustainability of the U.S. federal government isn't really something that plays into the medium term that is relevant for our policy decisions."

"It's a long-run issue that we definitely need to face, and ultimately, will have no choice but to face,” he added.

Total U.S. debt is about $21.9 trillion, of which $16 trillion is owed by the public, according to CNBC.

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