Asian markets mostly rose Monday as traders look ahead to a key meeting of the Federal Reserve, and a Chinese policy-setting conference this week. However, there is still caution on trading floors after Friday’s sharp sell-off fuelled by concerns over China’s economy, and despite a tweet from Donald Trump suggesting a trade deal could be hammered out between Washington and Beijing. While there are signs the world’s top two economies are beginning to move towards a resolution in their bitter tariffs spat, there are increasing concerns about the global outlook following another dour set of indicators out of China. A string of below-par readings this year have highlighted a slowdown in the Asian giant and observers are forecasting leaders will unveil fresh measures to pep up the economy, which is on course for another year of relatively weak growth. A speech from President Xi Jinping on Tuesday to mark 40 years since China’s economy began opening up will be closely watched, and that is expected to be followed by the start of a conference setting out the country’s 2019 economic plan. “We should expect a raft of stimulus measures from China policymakers in an attempt to stabilise the domestic economy,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA. The Fed will conclude its rate-setting policy meeting Wednesday and while expectations are for another hike in borrowing costs, comments from chairman Jerome Powell will be closely watched for an idea of its plans for 2019. Published in Daily Times, December 18th 2018.