Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSI) Index climbed 0.8%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5%.
South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.7%. Japan’s Nikkei also rose 1.1%.
Markets in the region have seesawed because of unease about the state of trade relations. US President Donald Trump said earlier this week that China called and relayed a desire to return to the negotiating table, a talk of which China’s foreign ministry said it was unaware.
But China’s commerce ministry said Thursday that the country is willing to solve the trade problems with “a calm attitude.” Spokesman Gao Feng added that the two sides continue talking.
“The most important thing at the moment is to create the conditions needed for the two sides to continue the negotiations,” he added.
That positivity, however slight, soothed nerves in the United States — a mood that seems to be carrying over to Asia.
“It doesn’t sound like a lot,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Asia Pacific for Oanda. But given the “fragility” of markets earlier in the week, he suggested that investors “would probably have continued streaming for the exit door” without the comments from China.
The US-China trade dispute “remains the only game in town” for investors worldwide, he added in a research note.
The two countries have announced tariffs on each other that are set to go into effect on Sunday.
Here are some other talking points in Asia at 10:30 a.m. Hong Kong time:
- The Bank of Korea on Friday kept its interest rate unchanged at 1.5%, in line with market expectations. The central bank said it would “carefully monitor” the US-China trade war and other economic risks as it weighs how to make monetary policy decisions in the future.
- Investors are looking out later Friday for US personal income and personal spending data.
- ICBC, the world’s largest bank by total assets, jumped 2.5% in Hong Kong after it reported a 4.7% increase in net profit for the first half. Its Shanghai-listed stock rose 0.2%.