Shares were mostly higher Monday in subdued New Year's Eve trading. U.S. futures were higher after President Donald Trump tweeted that he expected to reach a deal to help result trade friction with China after speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.3 percent to 25,485.70 while the Sensex in India added 0.3 percent to 36,206.18. Australian S&P ASX/200's benchmark edged 0.1 percent lower to 5,646.40 and Singapore's benchmark was up 0.4 percent. Most other markets were closed for the New Year holiday.
TRUMP TRADE: Trump tweeted on Sunday that he had a "long and very good call" with Xi. "Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made." Meanwhile, the official Xinhua News Agency cited a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that "China stands ready to work with the United States to move forward the China-U.S. ties which are underpinned by coordination, cooperation and stability." Prospects for an agreement to forestall more U.S. penalty tariffs on Chinese exports remain uncertain, analysts say.
ANALYST'S VIEWPOINT: "Whilst President Trump has lauded 'big progress' in trade talks with China following a phone call with Xi during the weekend, it remains to be seen how much this can boost investor confidence given that market reaction on recent positive development has largely been muted," Mizuho Bank said in a markets commentary. It added that the market was likely to "stay put at this point and wait for further solid evidence" following expected meetings in January.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 47 cents to $45.80 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It advanced 72 cents to $45.33 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international prices, gained 57 cents to $53.78 per barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.43 yen from 110.28 yen last Friday. The euro was flat at $1.1433.