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Asian stocks rise on US-China trade talk optimism

Most stocks rose in Asia following news that U.S.-China trade talks will resume in person next week. Nasdaq futures fell after the U.S. opened an antitrust probe into big technology companies.

The dollar hit a two-week high against the euro ahead of Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting. Australia’s dollar fell after an influential economist brought forward his forecast for the next interest-rate cut by the nation’s central bank. Equity benchmarks were up in Tokyo, Sydney, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, and little changed in Seoul. Futures on the S&P 500 Index were also little changed after that gauge climbed back above 3,000 Tuesday. Crude oil advanced for a fourth session, trading around $57 a barrel in New York.

Shares of Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook declined more than 1% in post-market trading after the Justice Department opened a broad antitrust review into whether dominant technology firms are unlawfully stifling competition. On the corporate earnings front, encouraging reports came from Coca-Cola, United Technologies and Texas Instruments offered a fillip to U.S. stock investors.

Turning to trade tensions, Bloomberg reported that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is set to travel to China next Monday for the first high-level, face-to-face trade negotiations between the world’s two biggest economies since talks broke down in May.

And central banks remain a focus. Westpac Banking Corp. Chief Economist Bill Evans said the Reserve Bank of Australia will probably cut its benchmark to 0.5% by February, in a call that saw the Aussie drop. The Federal Reserve is seen trimming its policy rate by a quarter percentage point next week. Before that, the ECB may hold fire this week, though its message will be closely parsed for signs of a September move.

Britain’s pound is trading within a cent of its weakest against the dollar in more than two years following Boris Johnson’s victory in the contest to succeed Theresa May as U.K. prime minister.

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