TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures edged up and Australian shares hit seven-week highs on Tuesday after the United States postponed the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico, and offered permanent exemptions for several other allies.
Spread-betters also expected Britain’s FTSE to creep ahead in opening trade.
Still, uncertainty over an expanding trade dispute between the United States and China as well as worries that Washington may abandon a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran kept investors on edge. A high-level U.S. trade delegation will be in Beijing for meetings later this week.
S&P mini futures ticked up 0.2 percent, erasing an earlier loss of 0.2 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.2 percent while Australian shares gained 0.6 percent, hitting their highest level since mid-March.
MSCI’s dollar-denominated index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1 percent though only Australia and New Zealand are open. Many markets in Europe and Latin America will be closed on Tuesday as well for public holidays.
U.S. shares lost steam late on Monday as worries about rising costs for companies kept investors on edge, despite solid corporate earnings and strong economic data.
Analysts expect S&P500 companies to report 24.6 percent growth in profits in the January-March quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Yet rising U.S. bond yields and commodity prices pointed to higher costs down the road, with concerns about trade frictions and rising tension in the Middle East seen as potentially amplifying the cost challenge.