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Asian Markets End On Upbeat Note On Trade Talk Optimism

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Asian markets ended on an upbeat note on Monday, with investors indulging in hectic buying amid rising optimism a fresh round of talks between the U.S. and China will help resolve trade disputes between the two countries.

Strong U.S. jobs data and the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's remarks last week that the Fed would be patient and flexible in policy decisions also contributed to the gains.

Chinese stocks ended the day firmly in positive territory. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 0.8 percent.

The Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 Index surged up 2.4 percent, led by gains by real estate, machinery, metal, pulp and paper, automobile, glass and ceramics and precision instruments stocks.

Shares from the pharmaceutical, finance, construction and transportation sectors also ended with impressive gains.

Toho Zinc, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Dentsu Inc., Komatsu, Pacific Metals, JGC Corp., Mitsui Fudosan, Tokyo Electron, Dainippon Screen Manufacturing, SUMCO Corp. and Minebea Mitsum rose 6 to 8 percent.

Mitsubishi Motors, Kawasaki Kishen Kaisha, GS Yuasa, Rakuten Inc., Hitachi, Suzuki Motor, Hino Motors, Panasonic and Advantest Corp. were among the other big gainers.

In the Australian market, information technology, mining and energy shares rose sharply. Financial, industrials and consumer durables shares also ended mostly higher, while pharmaceuticals and telecom shares were a bit sluggish.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 1.1 percent, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 1.2 percent.

Emeco Holdings soared more than 10 percent, Syrah Resources spiked 9.8 percent and Seven Group Holdings surged up 8.6 percent. Sandfire Resources and Western Areas gained 8.5 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, shares of Healius Limited declined more than 6 percent. Northern Star and St Barbara both ended lower by about 3.2 percent, while Ardent Leisure Group and Evolution Mining lost 2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

South Korea's Kospi ended stronger by 1.3 percent. New Zealand's NZX 50 Index rose 0.7 percent and Taiwan's Weighted Index shot up 2.2 percent, while Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore were on course to end on a firm note.

In economic news from Asia-Pacific region, the latest survey from the Australia Industry Group revealed the manufacturing sector in Australia slipped into contraction in December, with the index dropping to a score of 49.5 from a reading of 51.3 a month earlier.

The services sector in Japan continued to expand in December, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed with a PMI score of 51.0. That's down from 52.3 in November, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Nikkei also said its composite index slipped to a reading of 52.0 in December from 52.4 in the previous month.

The Bank of Japan said that the monetary base in Japan was up just 4.8 percent year-over-year in December, coming in at 504.2 trillion yen. That was well shy of forecasts for 5.8 percent and down sharply from 6.1 percent in November.

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