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SINGAPORE – The Asian stock market on December 23 surprisingly saw some positive movement despite the year about to end.

Shares in the region were mixed. The Straits Times Index (STI) of Singapore opened low but rebounded to secure a 0.05% or 1.61-point gain. The Nikkei 225 went up by 0.1% while the Hang Seng was flat.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.4% or 42.19 points to end the day at 2,962.71. China’s benchmark index was the only one that fared poorly. The KOSPI slipped by 0.2% while the S&P ASX 200 of Australia dropped 0.3%.

Stocks in Southeast Asia were mostly up, with the Philippines winning big. The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSEi) rose by 1.3% to close at its highest level since Dec. 16. The country’s consumer and utilities companies provided a needed boost ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Thailand started positive but any gains were negated at the end of the trading day. Malaysia closed on a high, thanks to its utilities and industrials. Taiwan shares were also up but Indonesia suffered losses.

While the Asian market didn’t do too poorly, analysts are saying trading this week will feel like an extended lunch break.

There’s still a sense of optimism about the China-US trade deal though. This was bolstered by US President Donald Trump’s statements over the weekend that the two countries have made a breakthrough. He also claimed the agreement would be signed “very shortly.”

The perceived improvements in the relations between the two countries have led to a better global outlook.

According to a note from Phillip Futures, the hints towards a “possible positive turning of fundamentals” will likely become the spark that would keep world indices upbeat.

China’s recent announcement of a reduction in tariffs for hundreds of good has also pushed US stock futures to open higher. The Dow Jones futures were trading 60 points up. Nasdaq and S&P futures also rose.

Beijing revealed early today its plans to lower tariffs on various products in a bid to boost their imports and open up their market.

The news is expected to help US shares continue their rally. Wall Street posted new highs last Friday. According to Tom Essaye of the Sevens Report, stocks are enjoying the momentum generated by four crucial events – the impending Brexit resolution, the trade deal with China, a dovish Fed, and strong economic data.

This particular time of the year is also when stocks are given a boost, thanks to the Santa Claus rally.

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