Asia Markets: Asian markets rise, led by Japan’s Nikkei

Asian markets rose in early trading Friday as China took a step to appease U.S. trade negotiators.

Chinese legislators on Friday approved a new law against the forced transfer of technology by foreign companies, which has been a major complaint by the U.S. and other countries. The move was intended to smooth the path to a trade deal, but it’s unclear if it will be enough.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he was in no hurry to make a deal, and said the U.S. could still walk away from negotiations if terms aren’t to his liking. On Thursday, chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said a summit between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping likely won’t happen until after trade negotiations are settled, adding that Xi is “afraid” to sit down with Trump over fears Trump may walk out at the last minute. Kudlow said Xi wants a signing ceremony, not a negotiating session, the Associated Press reported,.

Meanwhile, investors relaxed slightly as the threat of global financial chaos receded a bit as British lawmakers approved a measure to seek to push the Brexit deadline back to June.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.77%   rose 0.8%, while South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.94%  gained 0.9%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index HSI, +0.88%   gained 0.8% while on mainland China, the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.95%   advanced 0.6% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +1.13%   rose 0.5%. Taiwan’s Y9999, +0.88%  benchmark index rose 0.9% and Singapore’s STI, +0.09%   rose 0.1%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.07%   finished flat. New Zealand’s NSX 50 NZ50GR, +0.40%   rose 0.4%. The small nation was rocked by a mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch.

Among individual stocks, Tokyo Electron 8035, +2.80%   rose in Tokyo trading, along with Nintendo 7974, +2.68%  and Mitsubishi Motors 7211, +0.67%  . Sunny Optical 2382, +5.58%   surged in Hong Kong, as Galaxy Entertainment 0027, +2.72%   and Ping An Insurance 2318, +1.76%   advanced as well. SK Hynix 000660, +1.19%   rose in Korea, as did fellow chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, +1.92%   in Taiwan. Mining stocks like BHP BHP, -1.83%   declined in Australia, while energy stocks mostly gained.

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