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Asia markets November 18: US-China trade, currencies, oil

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Stocks in Asia were set to trade higher at the open on Monday as investors look for further developments on U.S.-China trade.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese shares. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,350 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,360. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,303.32.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia edged lower in early trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 down about 0.2%.

Investors will continue to monitor developments on U.S.-China trade. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had a phone call Saturday morning with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer regarding a “phase-one” trade deal, Chinese state media outlet Xinhua reported over the weekend.

The two sides had “constructive discussions” about “each other’s core concerns” and agreed to remain in close contact, Xinhua reported. The call came at the request of Mnuchin and Lighthizer, according to Xinhua.

That came after White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said late last week the two economic powerhouses were “getting close” to a deal.

Shares on Wall Street rallied to record levels last Friday amid the U.S.-China trade optimism. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 222.93 points higher at 28,004.89. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite made new all-time highs as well, climbing 0.8% to 3,120.46 and 0.7% to 8,540.83, respectively.

Market reaction to ongoing turmoil in Hong Kong will also be watched, as the embattled city continues to be rocked by civil unrest that has now lasted for months. Hong Kong police warned Monday live bullets could be fired, as tensions escalate in a standoff with protesters, Reuters reported.

What’s on tap:

  • Singapore: Merchandise trade data for October at 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • Hong Kong: Unemployment data (August-October) at 4:30 p.m. HK/SIN

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Spencer Kimball contributed to this report.

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Design studio re-imagined plane with Covid-19 safety features

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Photos: Design studio re-imagined plane with Covid-19 safety features

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