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Asian stocks edge up, U.S. futures rise on hope for no U.S. govt. shutdown

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TOKYO – Asian shares edged up on Tuesday as investors hoped a new round of U.S.-China trade talks would help to resolve a dispute that’s dented global growth and some corporate earnings.

Improving market sentiment was news that U.S. lawmakers reached a tentative deal on border security funding that would avert another partial government shutdown due to start on Saturday. The S&P 500 e-mini futures were up more than 0.5 percent..

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.3 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6 percent, South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 0.4 percent and Australian shares were up 0.4 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei advanced 2 percent after a market holiday on Monday, lifted by a weaker yen.

U.S. and Chinese officials expressed hopes the new round of talks, which began in Beijing on Monday, would bring them closer to easing their months-long trade war.

Beijing and Washington are trying to hammer out a deal before a March 1 deadline, without which U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

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