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Asian stock markets rebound on Chinese export data and a report of a Trump-Xi meeting next month

Asian stock markets rebound on Chinese export data and a report of a Trump-Xi meeting next month
Tugboats move a container ship to a dockyard in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province. (Associated Press)

Share prices in Asia rebounded Friday on a report that President Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, may meet at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina in late November.

In the U.S., Wall Street was set for an optimistic open. S&P 500 futures rebounded 1.3% to 2,781.50. Dow futures were 1.2% higher at 25,494.00.

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The Wall Street Journal said the White House had informed officials in Beijing that it would go ahead with a summit meeting in Buenos Aires. It cited unnamed sources from both sides.

There was no immediate word from Chinese officials in Beijing.

The aim was to find a way out of the impasse over trade that has led both countries to impose penalty tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's exports.

Strong Chinese export data also helped breathe life into share benchmarks that had languished in recent days.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.5% to 22,694.66 after sinking early in the day following a nearly 4% loss on Thursday. Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose 0.2% to 5,895.70.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 1.8% to 25,726.78. The Shanghai Composite index advanced 0.9% to 2,606.91. Shares rallied in Taiwan and rose throughout Southeast Asia.

“It seems Asia has had a reassessment, and calmer heads have prevailed as we close out the week,” Chris Weston of Pepperstone Group Limited said in a commentary.

Defying tariffs, China's trade surplus with the United States grew to a record $34.1 billion in September, customs data showed. This marked a jump of 13% over a year earlier.

Its exports to the United States rose to $46.7 billion although growth was slower than in August. Imports of U.S. goods grew too, but at a slower pace than before. Overall, China's global exports picked up and its imports steadily increased.

Asia's rebound followed another rout on Wall Street, where indexes tumbled for a second straight day on worries that rising interest rates and trade tensions could hurt global growth.

A decline in 10-year Treasury yields hit bank stocks, while technology and retail companies stumbled. The benchmark S&P 500 index started the day with gains, but ended losing 2.1% to 2,728.37, its lowest close in three months and sixth straight loss.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.1% to 25,052.83, and the Nasdaq composite gave up 1.3% to 7,329.06. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 1.9% to 1,545.38.

The U.S. Treasury will soon release a currency report that some analysts suggest might change the official stance on China's exchange rate policy.

Reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was advised against labeling China as a currency manipulator — a status that could trigger penalties — have eased tensions, Stephen Innes of OANDA said.

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Despite “a semblance of sanity returning,” the markets are ultimately “not out of the weeds,” he added.

Officials at the IMF-World Bank annual meeting, held on the Indonesian island of Bali this week, have called on the U.S. and China to work out their dispute over technology while abiding by world trade rules.

On Friday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo likened the tensions to the popular TV series “Game of Thrones.” He said fighting among the “great houses” was distracting them from the threat of an “evil winter.”

“Victory or defeat in wars always brings the same result — destruction,” Widodo said.

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