January 25, 2019: Asian markets rose Friday putting them on course to end a shaky week on a positive note as investors look ahead to crucial trade talks between China and the United States at the end of the month.
Small signs of a break in the impasse on Capitol Hill also provided some hope, with Democrats and Republicans meeting to end the month-long government shutdown that is taking its toll on the economy and left hundreds of thousands of workers unpaid.
Wall Street provided a mixed lead, though the technology sector was supported by strong earnings from US semiconductor firms such as Texas Instruments, while energy firms tracked healthy gains in oil prices.
There are hopes that next week's meeting in Washington between top Chinese and US officials will see some progress, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross looked to temper expectations Thursday by saying the two sides are “miles and miles” from resolving their trade war.
However, he still offered some hope, saying: “I believe China would like to make a deal. I believe we would like to make a deal but it has to be a deal that works for both parties.
“I'm trying to say people shouldn't think the events of next week will be the solution to all of the issues between the United States and China.”
Edward Moya, a market analyst at OANDA, pointed out that US markets were niggled by the “miles away” comment, but said that “many failed to focus on the rest of his comments that there is a fair chance a deal will get done, just not this week”.