Asia Markets: Asian markets gain after report that U.S., China trade negotiators speak

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Asia Markets

Nikkei, Kospi up more than 1%; stocks rise in Sydney despite grim outlook by central bank

A woman exercises during sunrise on the promenade on the Bund along the Huangpu River in Shanghai on Friday.

AFP/Getty Images

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Asian markets rose in early trading Friday, following gains on Wall Street and a report that U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators spoke on the phone and agreed to further cooperation.

Japan’s Nikkei

jumped 1.8% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

rose 0.9%. The Shanghai Composite

advanced 0.6% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite

gained 0.8%. South Korea’s Kopsi

was up 1.3% and benchmark indexes in Taiwan

, Singapore

and Indonesia

all posted gains.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

rose 0.9% despite a grim forecast by the Reserve Bank of Australia, which said it expects a long, slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with high unemployment likely for years to come. In its quarterly report, the central bank predicted the country’s economy would contract by 6% in 2020.

Reuters reported that top trade representatives from China and the U.S. talked on the phone early Friday, and agreed to strengthen cooperation on economic and public health issues. Citing a statement from China’s commerce ministry, Reuters said the two sides agreed to work together to implement the Phase One trade agreement signed earlier this year.

“The global grand reopening is starting to take shape and investors will soon be reveling to the ring of department store cash registers heralding in the consumer-driven rebound,” Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, wrote in a note. “Even with the economic clouds much gloomier than expected, the central banks’ money-printing machines and the endless stream of government financial support will see us through the gloaming.”

U.S. stock benchmarks closed in positive territory Thursday, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished the day in positive territory for the year after making up for the coronavirus-related selloff earlier this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

ended 211.25 points, or 0.9%, higher, at 23,875.89, while the S&P 500

added 32.77 points, or 1.2%, to close at 2,881.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index

wrapped up at 8,979.66, up 125.27 points, or 1.4%, notching a 0.08% year-to-date advance.

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery

rose above $24 a barrel, while July Brent crude

, the global benchmark neared the $30-a-barrel mark.

The dollar

inched up to 106.39 Japanese yen from 106.18 yen Thursday.

Dow futures rise 270 points Thursday evening as stock-market bulls brace for final test of week from Friday jobs report

U.S. stock-index futures climbed higher Thursday evening in light trading as investors readied for another test of the bullish momentum that has produced gains in two of the past three sessions for the S&P 500 and the Dow, powered by rallies in energy and technology-related firms. However, the market will have to overcome Friday’s jobs report, which will underscore the depth of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the American economy. Thus far, the market has blown past Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report, which showed that 3.2 million jobs were lost in April, bringing the total seeking jobless benefits in the U.S. over the past six weeks to 33 million, or approximately one out of every five eligible workers. Friday’s nonfarm-payrolls report is expected to show that unemployment hit double-digits, with levels likely to exceed those of the 2008-09 financial crisis. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 273 points, or 1.2% at 24,116, those for the S&P 500 index gained 1.1% at 2,896.75, while Nasdaq-100 futures picked up 1.1% at 9,156. During Thursday’s regular session, the Dow ended 211.25 points, or 0.9%, higher, at 23,875.89, off its intraday high at 24,094.62, while the S&P 500 added 32.77 points, or 1.2%, to close at 2,881.19, led by a 2.5% rally in the energy sector [s:XX: SP500.10] and a 2.2% climb in financials [s:XX: SP500.40]. The Nasdaq Composite Index wrapped up at 8,979.66, up 125.27 points, or 1.4%, notching a 0.08% year-to-date advance, erasing its losses for 2020. In corporate news, Dropbox Inc. notched its first quarterly profit since its debut as a publicly traded company in 2018, and Uber Technologies reported first-quarter results that revealed weakness in its ride-hailing business but a surge in its food-delivery segment.

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