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Asian Stocks Rise On US-China Trade Deal Hopes

stockmarkets dec21 11oct19 lt

Asian stocks rose on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump hinted at progress in his high-stakes trade battle with China and Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that Beijing was willing to reach an agreement to avoid further escalation.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He told Chinese state-run media Xinhua the Chinese delegation has come to the talks with "great sincerity and is willing to make serious exchanges with the U.S. on issues of common concern," raising hopes that the two countries would reach a deal to end their protracted trade war.

China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed 25.95 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,973.66, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index soared 600.51 points, or 2.3 percent, to 26,308.44.

Japanese shares advanced as the safe-haven yen weakened on optimism about the U.S.-China trade talks. The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 246.89 points, or 1.2 percent, to 21,798.87, its highest level since October 1. The broader Topix closed 0.9 percent higher at 1,595.27.

Shipping companies benefited from trade optimism, with Kawasaki Kisen climbing 5.7 percent and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines adding 3.4 percent. Market heavyweight Fast Retailing advanced 2.6 percent after the Uniqlo chain operator reported record profits and sales for the fiscal year through August. Seven & i Holdings soared 4.9 percent on restructuring news.

Australian markets rose sharply amid bets that high-level U.S.-China trade talks would yield at least a partial deal. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 59.70 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,606.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 59 points, or 0.9 percent, at 6,721.90.

Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto jumped over 2 percent each as investors awaited quarterly production reports from major Australian miners next week. The big four banks rose between 0.6 percent and 1.1 percent.

IOOF Holdings rallied 3.6 percent after it sold its stake in domestic fund manager Perennial Value Management to focus on its core wealth management business.

Michael Hill International soared 19.3 percent after the jeweler reported an 11.9 percent increase in same-store sales for the first quarter compared to the prior year.

Energy stocks such as Woodside and Santos rose around 1 percent after crude oil prices gained overnight, but gold miners Evolution and Newcrest declined around 1.5 percent each as gold prices fell from a one-week high.

Seoul stocks ended on a firmer note as investors cheered signs of progress in trade talks between the United States and China. The benchmark Kospi climbed 16.46 points, or 0.8 percent, to finish at 2,044.61.

New Zealand stocks posted broad-based gains, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index ending up 36.98 points, or 0.3 percent, at 10,923.71.

Malaysia's KLSE Composite Index rose 0.3 percent after a government report showed the country's industrial production grew at a faster pace in August.

The three major U.S. averages rose around 0.6 percent overnight as Apple's shares jumped and President Trump said he plans to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at The White House as part of high-level U.S.-China trade talks.

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