Mostly Gains for Asian Markets

Stocks in Asia were mostly higher on Thursday on the back of an apparent improvement in market risk sentiment after British Prime Minister Theresa May managed to persuade her cabinet to back her draft Brexit agreement. European Union leaders will meet on Nov. 25 to endorse the divorce deal.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 loosed 42.86 points, or 0.2%, to 21,803.62, as shares of conglomerate SoftBank fell 2.7%.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.47 against the U.S. dollar after seeing lows above 113.9 yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index leaped 448.91 points, or 1.8%, to 26,103.34. Shares of Tencent jumped 5.8%on the back of a better-than-expected earnings report for the third quarter.

Down Under, while stocks nosed up, the heavily weighted financial subindex, slipped slightly as Australia's so-called Big Four banks fell. Shares of Commonwealth Bank of Australia shed 0.5%, Westpac fell 0.4% and National Australia Bank declined by 0.2%. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's stock was largely flat.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7289 U.S., climbing from lows around $0.7226.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 37.43 points, or 1.2%, to 3,242.37

The positive sentiment in Chinese stocks came on the back of three U.S. government sources telling the media that Beijing had conveyed a written response to Washington's demands for trade reforms.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex index hiked 34.58 points, or 0.4%, to 9,826.46

In Korea, the Kospi index regained 20.01 points, or 1%, at 2,088.06

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index recouped 11.34 points, or 0.4%, to 3,054.53

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 lost 1.85 points to 8,825.89

In Australia, the ASX 200 recovered 3.25 points, or 0.1%, to 5,736.02