"This raises the chances of a deal but makes it harder for the United States to pressure China into making significant concessions related to its industrial and economic strategies". The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.59 per cent, or 125.58 points, at 21,551.09 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.58 per cent, or 9.32 points, at 1,618.84.
Mainland China indexes rose, however, after a report in the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post that said a deputy chairman of the Banking Regulatory Commission, Wang Zhaoxing, said risks from soaring debt had been contained.
"There's a very strong feeling in the business community of hope that the negotiations will lead to some really concrete outcomes and put us on the path where the business environment will continue to improve in very meaningful ways", said Tim Stratford, a former assistant USA trade representative who is now the chairman of AmCham in China.
The US is set to increase tariffs on $200bn (€176.3bn) of Chinese imports to 25pc from 10pc.
"China has made doing our type of business, which partly involves importing agricultural products into China, more hard every year since I have been coming to China", said one anonymous executive, according to the chamber. The ratcheting up of tariffs threatened to drag down global growth, but a major trade "deal", however illusory, would remove that danger.
The announcement by the American side gives Washington's negotiators more time to develop the agreement and avoid further trade disruptions between the world's two largest economies.
In Oval Office meeting today, the Chinese committed to buy an additional 10 million metric tons of USA soybeans.
The decision "seems to indicate that there's enough forward momentum that they believe they don't need to raise tariffs now", Parker said.
Among 150 companies that responded to a questionnaire last week, 43 per cent want to keep Trump's punitive tariffs of 10 per cent on $200 billion of Chinese goods in place while negotiations go ahead, Stratford said.
Even if the two sides reach a compromise on trade, relations also are strained by disputes over technology, investment and geopolitics. American officials accuse China of failing to fulfil past promises to change economic regulations. So as it stands there are still tariffs and counter-tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars on each other's goods.
Xi also struck a positive tone in a letter Liu delivered to Trump, saying he hoped the negotiations would be held in a "win-win" spirit that would lead to a mutually beneficial agreement.
The delay is likely to calm volatile financial markets.
Nearly 53 percent of respondents favored leaving the tariffs in place or increasing them to 25 percent as a way to keep the pressure on China while the negotiations continue; another 43 percent said they should be removed.