Asia Mostly Higher on Trade Sentiment

Major stock markets in Asia closed higher on Wednesday amid positive sentiment on the U.S.-China trade front.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 280.27 points, or 1.3%, to 21,144.48. The Japanese yen traded at 110.63 against the U.S. dollar after seeing an earlier high of 110.41.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng hiked 326.26 points, or 1.2%, to 28.497.59

Australian markets, on the other hand, ventured downward. Even so, shares of oil company Beach Energy surged 5.3% after it announced increased sales revenue and improved guidance in its half year report for the 2019 financial year.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7126 U.S. after rising from lows below $0.707 in the previous session.

CHINA

In China, the CSI 300 picked up 66.69 points, or 2%, to 3,397.03

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he was open to postponing the March 2 deadline for tariffs if Washington and Beijing can reach a trade deal soon.

The March 2 deadline is crucial in the negotiations as U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will increase if a deal is not struck before then. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, along with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, are in Beijing this week for another round of negotiations with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index gathered 11.01 points, or 0.5%, to 2,201.48

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index regained 43.62 points, or 1.4%, to 3,244.77

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index shed 7.16 points, or 0.1%, to 10,090.58

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 spiked 52.61 points, or 0.6%, to 9,333.38

In Australia, the ASX 200 dropped 15.51 points, or 0.3%, to 6,063.57