Headline indices of the Japan share market closed to a near two-month high on Wednesday, 13 February 2019, on tracking firm lead from Wall Street overnight after optimism over progress in U. S.-China trade talks and a tentative US congressional spending deal to avert another partial government shutdown. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei index rose 280.27 points, or 1.34%, at 21,144.48. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 16.73 points, or 1.06%, to 1,589.33.
President Donald Trump said he's open to extending a March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese products if the two sides are near an agreement, sending a conciliatory signal amid talks to resolve the trade war between the world's two-biggest economies.
Officials in Washington and Beijing had expressed hopes that a new round of talks which began this week would bring them nearer to easing their seven-month trade war.
High-level trade talks in Beijing starting on Thursday will attempt to hammer out an agreement before a March 1 deadline for the U. S. to impose higher tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
Risk appetite was also helped by signs of a tentative deal among American lawmakers to avert a government shutdown.
Oil explorer Inpex jumped 14% after sharply raising its net profit outlook for the year. Inpex hiked its full-year net profit forecast by 37% thanks to its Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia.
Kabu.com Securities rose 6% after KDDI Corp said on Tuesday it would spend $800 million to buy a minority stake in Kabu.com.
ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan producer prices were down 0.6% on month in January, the Bank of Japan said on Wednesday, unchanged from the December reading. On a yearly basis, producer prices climbed 0.6%, down from 1.5% in the previous month. Export prices were down 2.5% on month and 3.3% on year, the bank said, while import prices sank 5.0% on month and 1.6% on year.
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