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Asian Stocks Mixed; Nikkei Climbs as U.S., Japan Sign Limited Trade Deal

Asian Stocks Mixed; Nikkei Climbs as U.S., Japan Sign Limited Trade Deal - Asian equities were mixed in morning trade on Thursday. The Nikkei 225 rose after the U.S. and Japan signed a limited trade deal.

The first stage of the accord will open markets up to about $7 billion in U.S. agricultural products, U.S. President Donald Trump said at a signing ceremony with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The nations also made commitments for $40 billion worth of digital trade.

The agreement does not cover trade in autos, but Abe later said in a news conference that Trump assured him that Washington will not impose the “Section 232” tariffs on Japanese car imports.

"Between President Trump and I, myself, this has been firmly confirmed that no further, additional tariffs will be imposed," said Abe. "And with the entry into force of our trade agreements, I believe both of our economies will be able to further grow and develop."

Trump has previously complained multiple times that the U.S. automakers did not get enough access to Japan’s market.

According to a joint statement that was cited by Reuters, Japan and the U.S. said they wanted to finish their trade talks within about four months. They said that, “while faithfully implementing these agreements, both nations will refrain from taking measures against the spirit of these agreements and this joint statement.”

Reports from earlier this week suggested the U.S.-Japan talks hit a last-minute snag as Japan had wanted assurances that Trump would not impose the Section 232 tariffs.

The Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% to 22,078.50 by 10:32 PM ET (02:32 GMT).

The Sino-U.S. trade talks also seemed to have made some positive progress, as Trump said a U.S.-China trade deal could arrive sooner than expected.

Chinese stocks fell today however, as traders remained cautious and warned that an end to the trade war is far from certain.

Just on Tuesday, Trump said he would not accept a “bad trade deal” and accused China of unfair trade practice.

The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component fell 0.2% and 1.1% respectively. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.3%.

Softbank Group Corp. (T:9984) made headlines after the company said it is planning to invest an additional $1 billion in WeWork, the Financial Times reported citing people briefed on the matter.

South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.4%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 lost 0.4%.

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