Asia Markets: Asian markets gain after report that U.S., China trade negotiators speak

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.61% rose 0.9% despite a grim forecast by the Reserve Bank of Australia, which said it expects a long, slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with high unemployment likely for years to come. In its quarterly report, the central bank predicted the country’s economy would contract by 6% in 2020.

Reuters reported that top trade representatives from China and the U.S. talked on the phone early Friday, and agreed to strengthen cooperation on economic and public health issues. Citing a statement from China’s commerce ministry, Reuters said the two sides agreed to work together to implement the Phase One trade agreement signed earlier this year.

“The global grand reopening is starting to take shape and investors will soon be reveling to the ring of department store cash registers heralding in the consumer-driven rebound,” Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, wrote in a note. “Even with the economic clouds much gloomier than expected, the central banks’ money-printing machines and the endless stream of government financial support will see us through the gloaming.”

U.S. stock benchmarks closed in positive territory Thursday, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished the day in positive territory for the year after making up for the coronavirus-related selloff earlier this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.89% ended 211.25 points, or 0.9%, higher, at 23,875.89, while the S&P 500 SPX, +1.15% added 32.77 points, or 1.2%, to close at 2,881.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +1.41% wrapped up at 8,979.66, up 125.27 points, or 1.4%, notching a 0.08% year-to-date advance.

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery CLM20, +1.35% rose above $24 a barrel, while July Brent crude BRNN20, +1.25% , the global benchmark neared the $30-a-barrel mark.

The dollar USDJPY, +0.08% inched up to 106.39 Japanese yen from 106.18 yen Thursday.

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