Investing.com – Asian equities advanced in morning trade on Friday on news that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged to suspend nuclear and missile testing, and that he would arrange a meeting with U.S. president Donald Trump by May.
“Kim Jong-un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze,” said Trump said on Twitter late Thursday in the U.S. “Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!”
Investors’ mood was also brightened earlier in the day after Trump followed through on his pledge to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum, but excluding Canada and Mexico and said he would leave the door open to spare other countries on the basis of national security. The tariffs would come into effect in 15 days.
Following the announcement, several major trading partners of the U.S. have said they would respond with tariffs or direct action of their own.
In Japan, the chance of an easing in geopolitical concerns helped the Nikkei to climb 1.5% by 9:20pm ET. The yen was sent down the most in more than two weeks. Bank of Japan’s policy decision is due later in the day.
Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite and SZSE Component traded 0.01% and 0.5% higher respectively. China’s February Consumer prices came in higher than expected, rising 2.9% YoY compared to the estimated 2.5%. Producer prices on the other hand rose 3.7% YoY, slightly below the general consensus of 3.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.1% higher.
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