TOKYO | Asian shares mostly higher on hopes for US-China trade deal

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly higher Wednesday, cheered by prospects for a resolution of the costly trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

The region tracked gains overnight on Wall Street, with Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 adding 1.4 percent to 21,148.36 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 1.1 percent at 28,484.49. The Shanghai Composite index jumped 1.6 percent to 2,714.12.

In other markets, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3 percent to 6,063.60 and South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.4 percent to 2,198.57. Shares were mostly higher in Southeast Asia.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he might let a March 2 deadline slide in trade talks with China if the two countries get close to a deal. Earlier, the White House had said it was a “hard deadline.”

Both nations are trying to reach a deal before additional tariffs are due to kick in, escalating the conflict and further hurting companies and consumers with higher prices for materials and products.

The trade dispute is detrimental to the export-dependent Asian region, and a slowdown in growth in China is hurting neighboring economies.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index gained 1.3 percent to 2,744.73 and the Dow climbed 1.5 percent to 25,425.76. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.5 percent to 7,414.62 while the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks, which has been leading the other indexes this year, added 1.3 percent, to 1,538.23.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude rose 53 cents to $53.63 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1.3 percent to settle at $53.10 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, gained 66 cents to $63.08 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.59 yen from 110.50 yen Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1337 from $1.1285.

By Associated Press