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James Hyerczyk
Asia Australian Stocks

The major Asia Pacific stock indexes finished mostly higher on Thursday after the United States and China signed an interim trade deal on Wednesday afternoon local time. The two economic powerhouses inked Phase One of a trade pact that will roll back some tariffs and require China to boost purchases of U.S. goods and services by $200 billion over two years.

On Thursday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23933.13, up 16.55 or +0.07%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed at 28883.04, up 109.45 or +0.38% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index finished at 2248.05, up 17.07 or +0.77%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3074.08, down 15.96 or -0.52% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7041.80, up 47.00 or +0.67%.

US-China Trade Deal Recap

Stock investors in Asia showed little reaction on Thursday to the signing of Phase One of the U.S.-China trade deal in Washington on Wednesday afternoon. The agreement ended some uncertainties for the world economy and reduced the fears of an escalation of the trade war.

The deal doesn’t end the trade war, per se, but it does root out several practices by Beijing that have been a thorn in the side of the White House and members of Congress from both parties.

Essentially, the Phase One trade deal is a line in the sand that allows both parties to monitor progress and establish trust while working out even tougher issues in a Phase Two agreement. These include intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers from U.S. firms in exchange for Chinese market access. The deal also details a $200 billion increase in Chinese purchases of U.S. goods over two years.

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Australian Shares Surge as Stock Market Passes 7000 Points for First Time

The Australian share market surged into record territory on Thursday, passing the 7000-point milestone for the first time ever. The catalysts behind the rally were positive cues overnight from Wall Street after the U.S. and China signed a long-awaited Phase One trade deal.

In the tech sector, Wisetech Global gained more than 4 percent, while Appen and Xero added 2 percent and 1 percent respectively.

Gold miners were also higher after gold prices rose overnight. Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining advanced more than 1 percent each.

BOJ to Keep Policy Steady, Raise Growth Outlook as Risks Subside

The Bank of Japan is expected to keep monetary policy steady next week and nudge up its economic growth forecast, as the U.S.-China trade deal and de-escalation in Middle East tensions take some pressure off the central bank for more stimulus.

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