Asian Stocks Rise on Sino-U.S. Trade Hopes

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© Reuters. © Reuters. – Asian stocks rose in morning trade on Monday as China and the U.S. appeared close to agreeing on a “phase one” trade deal.

The Shanghai Composite and the gained 0.5% and 0.7% respectively by 10:40 PM ET (02:40 GMT).

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said on the weekend that Beijing and Washington are close to signing a partial trade deal.

“They made headway on specific issues and the two sides are close to finalizing some sections of the agreement,” USTR said. “Discussions will go on continuously at the deputy level, and the principals will have another call in the near future.”

Asked about China on Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said, “We’re doing very well.”

“We’re moving along nicely. We’re dealing with them right now,” he told reporters before leaving Washington for South Carolina. “And a lot of good things are happening with China. They want to make a deal very badly.”

On the data front, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported on Sunday that the country’s industrial sector fell 5.3% last month.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 traded 0.2% higher, while South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.4%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 inched up 0.2%.

Major miners outperformed today, as Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:) gained nearly 1% while Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:) and BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX:) jumped 2% and 1.2% respectively.

Markets in Singapore, India, Malaysia and New Zealand are closed for holidays.

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