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Asian Markets Rise; Trump Says Trade Negotiations Are Making Progress

Investing.com - Asian markets advanced in morning trade on Friday, with Chinese stocks outperforming their regional peers after U.S. President Donald Trump said negotiations in Washington were making progress.

The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component gained 0.8% and 1.8% respectively by 9:25 PM ET (02:25 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 0.4%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was near flat at 20,778 after a business survey showed the final Markit/Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to 50.3 on a seasonally adjusted basis from 52.6 in December.

Meanwhile, the country’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.4% in December from 2.5% last month, matching the median estimate.

Nintendo Co Ltd (T:7974) slumped near 9% after the company slashed its full-year hardware forecast for its Switch console. The company also announced that it was developing a mobile title, named “Dr. Mario World,” with Line Corp (NYSE:LN), although the news was largely overshadowed by the company’s forecast cut.

South Korea’s KOSPI edged up 0.2%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.1%.

Sino-U.S. trade optimism was cited as a tailwind for Chinese equities on Friday. “Meetings are going well with good intent and spirit on both sides,” Trump said in a tweet Thursday.

The President added that he might soon meet with China’s Xi Jinping to discuss details of a possible trade deal. “No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more difficult points,” Trump said in another posting, adding that he believes the two sides could reach a deal before the March 1 deadline for tariff hikes on Chinese goods.

High-level Chinese and U.S. officials, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, ended a two-day meeting in Washington today. Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to China for the next round of trade talks in February.

China agreed to increase imports of "US agricultural products, energy products, industrial manufactured goods and service products" during the talks, Xinhua reported.

The White House said a concluding statement would be released outlining progress made on core issues such as Chinese technology transfers and intellectual property practices, market access, and Beijing’s pledge to buy more American goods.

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