Asian stocks climb after shaking off trade jitters ahead of Trump-Kim summit


Asian markets advanced in early Tuesday trade as investors shrugged off trade-related jitters and ahead of several key events this week, including a highly anticipated meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.74 percent in early morning trade amid broad-based gains.

Other markets in the region also advanced, but saw slimmer gains. South Korean and Australian stocks edged higher, with the Kospi edging up by 0.11 percent and the S&P/ASX 200 tacking on 0.1 percent.

MSCI’s index of shares in Asia Pacific excluding Japan was little changed in morning trade, last hovering just below the flat line.

The high-profile Trump-Kim summit — the first meeting between sitting leaders of both countries — is set to take place Tuesday morning, but analysts have said they expect little direct impact on the markets.

Trump and Kim will likely discuss future bilateral ties, although no major breakthroughs are expected from the meeting.

The dollar was firmer ahead of that meeting, expected to take place at 9:00 a.m. HK/SIN. The greenback edged up against the safe-haven yen to trade at 110.46 at 8:09 a.m. HK/SIN.

Markets’ positive tone came despite the uncertainty in anticipation of several key events expected this week.

“[The risk-on tone] may have been a function of low volumes ahead of the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank this week, as asset allocators are unlikely to make strategic investment decisions until those events and the Singapore summit are out of the way,” ANZ analysts said in a morning note.

Ahead, the Fed begins its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, with markets expecting a quarter-point interest rate hike announcement on Wednesday. The ECB and Bank of Japan hold meetings in the second half of the week.

U.S. stocks finished the last session in positive territory despite recent trade concerns after last week’s tense G-7 summit, which Trump had attended before arriving in Singapore on Sunday. Trump had withdrawn his support to endorse the joint G-7 communique and criticized Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trump continued to fan trade tensions in a series of tweets critical of traditional allies of the U.S. on Monday during Asia business hours.


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