US-China trade talks and economic data in focus

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, with a delegation of U.S. officials set to travel to China for the next round of negotiations this week.

The latest set of trade talks will take place in Beijing from Monday. It comes after discussions in Washington last week concluded without a deal.

Both sides are trying to secure a comprehensive trade agreement ahead of a March 1 deadline when U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

Escalating tensions between the world’s two largest economies have cost both countries billions of dollars and roiled global financial markets.

In Asia, Chinese shares whipsawed on Monday after they resumed trading following a week-long Lunar New Year holiday. The blue-chip index rose 0.4 percent, though trading volumes were still expected to be light with Japan on a public holiday.

MSCI’s broadest-index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, was around 0.1 percent lower.

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