Asian shares rise as investors watch trade war, economies

TOKYO — Asian shares were higher Monday, as investors continue to rejigger their read on President Donald Trump's trade war and growing worries about slowing economies around the world.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.6% in early trading to 20,532.95. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.8% to 6,454.40, while South Korea's Kospi was 0.4% higher at 1,934.78. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.9% to 25,734.22. The Shanghai Composite added 0.3% to 2,823.82.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 41.08 points, or 1.4%, to 2,888.68. The Dow, which had an 800-point drop earlier in the week, added 306.62 points, or 1.2%, to 25,886.01. The Nasdaq climbed 129.38 points, or 1.7%, to 7,895.99. Each index still finished with a third-straight weekly decline.

Investors favored smaller company stocks, which pushed up the Russell 2000. The index rose 31.99 points, or 2.2%, to 1,493.64.

Wall Street stocks and other investments had heaved and dropped all week, hitting a crescendo on Wednesday when a fairly reliable warning signal of recession flipped on in the U.S. Treasury market.

Investors are hoping that the Federal Reserve will continue to cut interest rates to shore up economic growth. The central bank lowered interest rates by a quarter-point at its last meeting. It was the first time it lowered rates in a decade.

"With global economic engines still clattering and in desperate need of some high-grade Central Bank stimulus, investors are still pinning their hopes on central bank policy," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at Valour Markets in Singapore.

Investors are also worried about Trump's shocking announcement on Aug. 1 that he planned to extend tariffs across virtually all Chinese imports, many of them consumer products that were exempt from early rounds of tariffs. The tariffs have been delayed, but ultimately will raise costs for U.S. companies bringing goods in from China. 

ENERGY:

Benchmark crude oil rose 43 cents to $55.30 a barrel. It rose 40 cents to settle at $54.87 a barrel Friday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 53 cents to $59.17 a barrel.

CURRENCIES:

The dollar rose to 106.40 Japanese yen from 106.24 yen Friday. The euro rose slightly to $1.1090 from $1.1085.

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