Asian stocks rise as Biden, Xi hold video summit

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Asian stock markets rally as President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping hold summit via video link

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Market benchmarks advanced in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Sydney fell.

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Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost less than 0.1% as home goods makers rose and health care stocks fell.

Biden told Xi that his goal should be to ensure that competition “doesn’t turn into conflict.” The two leaders met amid tensions over trade, technology, human rights, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Xi said he was ready to “build a consensus” and said both sides needed to improve communication.

ActiveTrades’ Anderson Alves said in a report that the meeting “will dominate the session ahead”, although White House officials have “cooled down expectations for any meaningful progress” in the relationship.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% to 3,544.47 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to 29,931.87. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up 0.7% at 25,575.40.

The Kospi in Seoul rose less than 0.1% to 3,001.62, while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.5% to 7,434.50. New Zealand and Jakarta declined while Singapore and Bangkok advanced.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell to 4,682.80. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell less than 0.1% to 36,087.45. The Nasdaq closed down less than 0.1% at 15,853.85.

Investors are shifting focus from the latest corporate profits to economic issues that will determine growth in 2022. This includes supply chain problems and rising inflation.

Investors will be watching for any signs that inflation is reducing business operations or consumer spending. Businesses raise prices to overcome the higher cost of materials. Consumers have quickly taken to it, but analysts worry they may begin to pull back on spending.

Investors are also waiting to see whether Biden decides to nominate Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for a new term to lead the US central bank.

Also on Tuesday, the Commerce Department was to report US retail sales.

Chinese data reported on Monday showed retail sales growth weakened in October compared to the previous month, weakened by anti-coronavirus restrictions and consumer unease over the wave of the outbreak.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude rose 53 cents a barrel to $81.41 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 9 cents to $80.88 on Monday. Brent crude, used as the price base for international oils, rose 64 cents to $82.69 a barrel in London. It fell 12 cents to $82.05 a barrel in the previous session.

The dollar rose to 114.21 yen from Monday’s 114.09 yen. The euro remained unchanged at $1.1386.


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