Asia stocks set to gain as US-China trade talks resume

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Overnight on Wall Street, stocks rose. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 91.87 points to 25,717.46 and the S&P 500 added 0.4 percent to 2,815.44 — on track for its best first-quarter performance since 1998. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3 percent to 7,669.17.

The moves stateside came following a Reuters report that Chinese officials made unprecedented offers regarding forced technology transfers as well as other major sticking points, as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing for further negotiations.

The trade standoff between the two economic powerhouses has been closely watched by investors, amid rising concerns of an economic slowdown as the bond market flashed signals that a recession could come soon.

The 10-year Treasury rate hit its lowest level since December of 2017 on Thursday. This comes after the same bond fell below its three-month counterpart last week — a phenomenon described as a inverted yield curve, seen as an early indicator of a recession.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.202 after rising from lows below 97.0 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.69 against the dollar after seeing a high around 110 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7076 after weakening from the $0.71 handle in the previous session.

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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