Hong Kong, March 15: Asian markets rose Friday as Donald Trump struck an upbeat note on trade talks with China, while the pound held steady after British MPs voted to delay Brexit.
While there remain some concerns about the global outlook, investor confidence has been supported by ongoing optimism that the world's two biggest economies will eventually hammer out a deal to end their long-running trade row.
The US president provided fresh cheer Thursday by telling reporters “we are doing very well with China talks”, adding that “we are getting what we have to get”.
He also said “one way or the other, we're going to know over the next three to four weeks”.
His comments came as Chinese state media said phone talks had been held between Beijing's top negotiator Vice Premier) Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Mnuchin said earlier Thursday he expects the deal to be finalised soon, but cautioned that the process is complex.
Trump had said he expected to hold a meeting in Florida with his counterpart Xi Jinping later this month but Bloomberg said that the “signing summit” had been pushed back a month as negotiators struggled to resolve their differences.
On Friday, China approved a foreign investment law that will abolish the forced transfer of technology from foreign firms to local joint-venture partners, addressing a key point of anger in the White House.
The developments lifted regional equities. Tokyo went into the break one percent higher, while in morning trade Shanghai gained more than one percent and Hong Kong jumped 0.9 percent.
Sydney rose 0.1 percent, Singapore put on 0.3 percent and Seoul climbed one percent. Wellington, Taipei and Jakarta were also up.