SYDNEY, Australia - Surprisingly stocks in China were softer on Tuesday, a day ahead of the signing of the historical, long-anticipated signing of a partial trade deal between the U.S. and China.
The agreement will be signed at the White House on Wednesday. Stocks in Japan and Australia however rallied on the news.
"There have been a number of false starts," Vishnu Varathan, head of economics at Mizuho Bank in Singapore told the Reuters Thomson news agency.
"The fact that this is really coming to the moment when the rubber hits the road is the most tangible evidence of traction in starting to resolve issues, that's what's driving optimism."
At the close of trading Tuesday, the Nikkei 225 in Japan was ahead 174.60 points or 0.73% at 24,025.17.
The Australian All Ordinaries jumped 57.80 points or 0.82% to 7,078.00.
China's Shanghai Composite slipped 8.75 points or 0.28% to 3,106.82.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped 69.80 points or 0.24% to 28,885.14.
The U.S. dollar firmed against most currencies. The euro however held steady at 1.1142.
The Chinese yuan improved on an announcement out of Washington Tuesday that China would no longer be designated by the United States as a currency manipulator.
The Japanese yen weakened sharply to 110.11. The Swiss franc was little changed at 0.9708.
The Canadian dollar was little moved at 1.3053. The Australian dollar inched down to 0.6904. The New Zealand dollar eased to 0.6629.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials were ahead 83.28 points or 0.29% at 28,907.05.
The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 22.28 points or 0.70% to 3,288.13.
The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite climbed 95.07 points or 1.04 points to 9,273.93.