Sydney — Asian shares held near an eight-month peak on Thursday as investors awaited developments on China-US trade talks, with both sides appearing closer to signing a deal and improved risk appetite weighing on safe-haven assets like the yen. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan took a breather after five straight days of gains took it to its highest since late August. Chinese shares started firm with the blue-chip index up 0.9%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was a tad softer. Japan’s Nikkei nudged 0.2% higher to stay near a recent one-month top. “Risk sentiment will likely be mixed on Thursday as investors digest developments on the trade front amid disappointing US economic numbers,” said Manila-based ING economist Nicholas Mapa. US data out on Wednesday showed services sector activity hit a more than 19-month low in March and private payrolls grew less than expected, supporting the Federal Reserve’s move to suspend interest rate hikes in 2019. Investors are ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now