SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares edged higher on Monday as a bounce in U.S. stock futures soothed sentiment even as U.S. President Donald Trump kept up his twitter war with China over trade just a couple of days before President Xi Jinping gives a keynote speech.
There was also little immediate reaction to reports U.S. forces had struck at sites in Syria, presumably in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack on civilians there.
Trump said on Sunday there would be a “big price to pay” after medical aid groups reported dozens of people were killed by poison gas in a besieged rebel-held town.
Yet the Wall Street Journal reported Pentagon officials had denied the reports of U.S. strikes, leaving markets confused.
For now, investors in Asia were encouraged that E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were still up 0.4 percent, while NASDAQ futures rose 0.6 percent.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei wavered either side of flat, and South Korea edged ahead by 0.2 percent.
Caution remained the watchword after Trump claimed on Sunday that China would take down its trade barriers because it was “the right thing to do.”
Trump late Thursday threatened to slap $100 billion more in tariffs on Chinese imports, while Beijing said it was fully prepared to respond with a “fierce counter strike”.
Analysts warned the drama would be a long-running one given the lengthy public discussion period on U.S. tariff proposals meant the earliest they might be imposed was somewhere around late July or early August.
“This is not going to happen tomorrow, and given the mercurial