Asian markets set to climb, shrugging off soggy US close after Trump trade comments

Futures pointed to a higher open in Asia on the last trading day of the week, with markets seeming to shrug off the soggy close on Wall Street despite investor concerns over U.S.-China trade talks.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.23 percent at 22,900 compared to Thursday’s close of 22,838.37. Australian SPI were 0.23 percent higher at the end of the last session.






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U.S. stocks finished Thursday lower against the backdrop of investor concerns over ongoing U.S.-China trade talks and higher interest rates.

The Dow Jones industrial average shed 0.22 percent, or 54.95 points, to close at 24,713.98, the S&P 500 slipped 0.08 percent to 2,720.13 and the Nasdaq composite edged down by 0.21 percent to end at 7,382.47. The small-cap Russell 2000, however, gained 0.55 percent and notched a fresh record close.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he doubted high-level U.S.-China trade negotiations would be successful as China, and other U.S. trading partners, had “become very spoiled.” His comments came as a second round of the bilateral talks began in Washington on Thursday.

The move higher in interest rates was also in focus, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbing to 3.122 percent in the last session — its highest level since August 2008. Yields on the two-year and five-year Treasury notes, as well as the 30-year Treasury bond, also touched multi-year highs.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures rose as high as $80.50 per barrel, its highest since November 2014, before settling lower by 9 cents at $79.19. Meanwhile, U.S. crude futures settled unchanged at $71.49.

On the corporate front, Tokio Marine Holdings is expected to release its full-year earnings later in the day. Meanwhile, Leshi Internet Information & Technology, the listed unit of troubled conglomerate LeEco, faces a May 18 deadline to respond to questions from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange over its business operations.

There is little on the economic calendar for Friday, with the focus likely consumer price index data expected out of Japan at 7:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

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