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Asian markets rise as investors shift attention from US-Iran conflict

Investors are turning their focus back to the US-China trade deal following a week of tense activity in the Middle East.

On Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.7%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.2%, while China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.3%.

China confirmed on Thursday that its top trade negotiator Liu He will lead a delegation and travel to Washington to sign the initial trade deal next week.

It was the first time China officially confirmed the signing plans after US President Donald Trump said last month that he would sign the trade deal at the White House on January 15.

Trump also said he would travel to Beijing “at a later date” to begin a new phase of trade negotiations.

Oil futures continued to edge lower after Trump signaled a de-escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran.

US oil futures shed 0.3% to $59.40 per barrel during Friday’s trading hours in Asia, poised to fall for a fourth straight session. Brent crude, a global oil benchmark, dropped 0.2% to $65.25 per barrel.