AP NEWS

Asian stocks mostly higher after Trump tariff extension

February 25, 2019
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A currency trader stretches while working at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Most Asian stock markets rose Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would postpone a March 1 deadline for a U.S. tariff hike on Chinese imports following weekend talks on a battle over Beijing's technology ambitions. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

BEIJING (AP) — Most Asian stock markets rose Monday after President Donald Trump said he would postpone a March 1 deadline for a U.S. tariff hike on Chinese imports following weekend talks on a battle over Beijing’s technology ambitions.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.4 percent to 2,871.27 points and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.7 percent to 21,572.11. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was off 2 points at 6,165.30 and Seoul’s Kospi shed 1 point to 2,229.73. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 10 points to 28,832.75. Taiwan also gained while New Zealand declined.

Trump gave no details Sunday but said U.S.-Chinese talks in Washington made “substantial progress.” He said he would postpone a March 1 deadline for 10 percent punitive tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to rise to 25 percent but announced no new date.

The fight has threatened to disrupt global trade and weigh on economic growth that shows signs of slowing.

Trump’s announcement should reassure financial markets, but stock price gains might be limited because investors already expected such a move, analysts said.

“The latest news may not offer a significant boost to start the week,” said Tai Hui of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. “Nonetheless, it helps to underpin positive investor sentiment.”

The world’s two biggest economies have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in the fight over U.S. complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

Washington wants China to roll back plans for government-led creation of global competitors in robotics and other technologies. Europe, Japan and other trading partners echo U.S. complaints those violate Beijing’s free-trade obligations.

Investors are watching February manufacturing indicators due out this week for signs of further deceleration in global activity.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 8 cents to $57.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 30 cents to $57.26 on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 14 cents to $66.98 per barrel in London. It added 5 cents the previous session to $67.12.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 110.61 yen from Friday’s 110.68 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1342 from $1.1333.