Asian Shares Rise After Trump's Speech

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(RTTNews.com) - Asian stocks rose on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would hold a two-day summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam at the end of February as part of a bold new diplomacy.

However, Trump's second State of the Union address lacked details on progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

Ahead of a fresh round of negotiations in Beijing next week, Trump said a new trade deal must include real structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce chronic trade deficit and protect American jobs.

Japanese shares ended a tad higher as investors remained focused on Trump's State of Union speech and corporate earnings. The Nikkei average edged up 0.14 percent to 20,874.06 while the broader Topix index closed marginally lower at 1,582.13.

Shiseido, which has a big exposure to the Chinese market, jumped 4.6 percent after Estee Lauder boosted its full-year profit outlook on booming skincare sales in Asia.

Automaker Toyota Motor Corp shed 0.7 percent after its fiscal third quarter profit plunged, hurt by unrealized gains and losses in equity securities.

Suzuki Motor lost 4.3 percent and Sega Sammy Holdings slumped 11.9 percent on disappointing earnings updates.

Australian markets ended modestly higher despite disappointing results from Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index inched up 20.20 points or 0.34 percent to 6,026.10 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 23.70 points or 0.39 percent at 6,091.80.

Banks lost ground after strong gains in the previous session. Commonwealth Bank of Australia declined 1.4 percent after reporting a drop in half-year profit. The other three big banks fell between 1.2 percent and 1.7 percent. Insurance Australia Group advanced 4.3 percent after its underlying earnings rose 16 percent.

Energy stocks turned in a mixed performance while mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto climbed around 2 percent each on supply concerns after Brazilian miner Vale SA declared force majeure on some iron ore contracts.

Viva Energy Group soared 13.8 percent after it renewed its fuel partnership with Coles Group till 2029. Downer EDI gained 2.3 percent on securing a A$900 million order from the NSW government for 17 more of its Waratah Series 2 trains.

Virgin Australia added 2.7 percent. The airline said it has named former Queensland Rail boss Paul Scurrah as its chief executive and managing director following an eight-month search.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was up nearly 1 percent. India's Sensex was rising 0.9 percent ahead of RBI's monetary policy committee outcome scheduled for February 7.

Several markets in the region remained closed for the Lunar New Year holidays, including South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. The New Zealand market was shut for Waitangi Day.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose to close at their best levels in near two months, with largely upbeat corpora earnings results underpinning sentiment ahead of President's State of the Union address.

The Dow and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose around 0.7 percent while the S&P 500 gained half a percent.

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This article appears in: World Markets , Insurance , US Markets , Oil , Stocks

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