Asian markets edge up as US-China trade deal inches forward

Asian stocks moved a little bit higher Tuesday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.5% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.3%.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.7%, while China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.3%.

Positive trade news continues to be a factor. US President Donald Trump said Monday that the “phase one” deal with China is nearly complete, save for translation.

“I said make sure you have the right translators because you can lose a lot with bad translation. So we’re working on getting that done,” Trump said during a meeting with governors and lawmakers in the United States.

The deal canceled a round of tariffs on Chinese goods that had been set to take effect Sunday. China also agreed to increase purchases of US farm goods. And the United States said it would cut tariffs on Chinese imports that were enacted in September. But details about other aspects of the agreement — including structural changes to intellectual property rights that China is said to have agreed it would make — remain unclear.

Trump said the deal will be finalized “over the next couple of weeks.”

On Monday in Beijing, though, China’s Foreign Ministry did not specify a timeframe to complete the deal.

“China and the United States still need to finish some necessary procedures,” spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters, adding that China will release more details “at the right moment.”

Markets in Asia mostly closed lower Monday.

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