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Asian Markets Rise Ahead of Powell’s Speech; Hong Kong Readies for More Protests

Investing.com - Asian markets rose in morning trade on Friday as traders await a much-anticipated speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.5% by 10:40 PM ET (02:40 GMT). The city will likely face further anti-government protests this weekend, as multiple protests are reportedly being planned beginning later today.

The protests, which began in early June, have put the Asian financial hub into the biggest crisis since its handover to Beijing in 1997. The Hang Seng Index plunged almost 3,000 points in the last couple of weeks.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component gained 0.6% and 0.2% respectively.

The Nikkei 225 traded 0.4% higher even after Japan and the U.S. failed to agree on a trade deal. Reuters reported that Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Ligthizer held four-hour of talks on Thursday, but decided to extend talks for another day.

The two sides were “getting closer to reach a conclusion,” Motegi told reporters. "It's as expected but we're spending quite a long time," Motegi said of the negotiations, adding that he will meet with Lighthizer again on Friday.

South Korea’s KOSPI inched up 0.1%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 climbed 0.3%.

All eyes will be on the upcoming speech by Powell later in the day at a gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole.

Powell's remarks, scheduled to start at 10 AM ET (14:00 GMT), will likely provide fresh clues on monetary policy measures at a time when global bond yields are on the backfoot on expectations that central banks will ramp up stimulus.

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