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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks end week up as US invites China to talk trade

Apple suppliers rise as new iPhones unveiled while energy producers gain on oil

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks ended higher for the week after U.S. officials extended an invitation to China to resume trade talks. New product launches by Apple and higher oil prices spurred related companies.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index rose 1.4% to 1,295.92 on Friday. It reversed losses chalked up earlier this week to end the five-day period 0.9% higher after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin proposed renewed trade talks with China and China agreed. Investors had been fretting about the possible introduction of additional U.S. import tariffs that would cover nearly all of China's exports to the world's largest economy.

Washington and Beijing have already imposed tariffs on $50 billion of goods imported from each other, and the U.S. has proposed levies on $200 billion worth of goods from the Asian nation and also threatened tariffs on a further $267 billion of Chinese shipments. The U.S. government's invitation to China has fueled some hopes that it would help continue a dialogue between the two countries on contentious trade matters. Still, participants remained cautious.

"A strongly market positive outcome will entail one where the U.S. compromises on its expectations with regards to structural issues pertaining to market access, intellectual property, and Made in China 2025, and China agrees to buy more U.S. goods to reduce the trade surplus," Christy Tan, head of markets strategy at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note. "However, such a deal may only be struck at the highest level and at best the talks could end up securing a meeting for the two presidents during the G20 summit on November 30th."

A move by Turkey's central bank on Thursday to raise its key interest rate to 24% to curb accelerating inflation also helped lift sentiment.

Technology heavyweights Samsung Electronics and Tencent Holdings ended the week 2.1% and 4.2% higher, respectively, after logging losses last week. Samsung rose 4.1% in Seoul on Friday, while Tencent advanced 1.9% in Hong Kong.

Apple suppliers in the region rose after the iPhone maker announced its latest range of handsets this week and a new version of its watch. Hon Hai Precision Industry, or Foxconn, added 0.3% in Taipei during the five-day period, while SK Hynix advanced 2.4% in Seoul. The stocks rose 2.5% and 4.3%, respectively, on Friday.

Regional energy producers advanced as global oil prices firmed amid falling crude inventories. CNOOC and PetroChina climbed 5.5% and 2.9% in Hong Kong this week, while PTT Exploration & Production jumped 3.5% in Bangkok. On Friday, CNOOC fell 0.7%, PetroChina rose 0.5%, and PTT declined 0.5%.

Sapura Energy jumped 35.8% in Kuala Lumpur this week after the Malaysian oil-and-gas services company said it is in talks to sell half of Sapura Upstream to an Austrian company and suspended listing process for the exploration and production unit. The company's stock rose 2.2% on Friday.

The Nikkei Asia300 ASEAN Index of Southeast Asian companies rose 0.8% Friday. The country gauge for the Philippines fell 1.5% as the nation braces for the impact of Super Typhoon Mangkhut on millions of people in its path. Fast-food company Jollibee Foods and power company Manila Electric ended 2.9% and 3.7% lower in Manila on Friday.

-- Amy Lam & Suzannah Benjamin

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