Regional markets broadly higher

Business | 15 Apr 2019 11:35 am

Regional markets were broadly higher today on signs that the U.S. and China were closing in on a trade deal after months of negotiations.

The Shanghai Composite index gained by 1.7 percent at 3,243.91. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped by 1.46 percent, or 320.15 points at 22,190.71 and the Kospi in South Korea added 0.7 percent at 2,249.43.

The Hang Seng picked up 0.61 percent, or 181.12 points as of 11:30 am local time, while Australia’s S&P ASX 200 lost 0.1 percent at 6,244.90. Stocks rose in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia but fell in the Philippines.

On Saturday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that the U.S. and China were moving closer to an agreement on trade.

Speaking on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings, Mnuchin said the U.S. and China had held phone discussions last week and he wasn’t sure if more face-to-face meetings would be needed. He did not give a timeframe for when negotiations might be wrapped up.

Mnuchin added that the proposed agreement has seven chapters and will allow both countries to set up enforcement offices to make sure the deal is followed. This fueled hopes that a wide-ranging dispute between the world’s two biggest economies could soon be put to rest.-AP/The Standard 

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