U.S.-China Trade Hope Drives up Markets

Shares in Asia Pacific rose on Monday amid optimism on the U.S.-China trade front.

In Japan, markets were shuttered for holiday. The Japanese yen traded at 108.30 against the U.S. dollar after seeing lows above 109 in the previous week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index galloped 446.54 points, or 1.7%, to 27,547.30. Shares of life insurer AIA surged more than 2.5%.
Korean markets also surged with shares of chipmaker SK Hynix jumping 1.9%.

In Australia, indices rose, with most sectors in positive territory. The heavily weighted financial subindex, however, declined 0.8%. The trading of Westpac shares was halted on Monday after the bank announced the launch of a capital raising following a 16% plunge in its statutory net profit for full year 2019.

September retail sales data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Monday showed retail sales rising 0.2% in the month, missing expectations of a 0.5% increase by analysts.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6922 after rising from levels below $0.684 last week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gathered 25.73 points, or 0.7%, to 3,978.12

Investors watched for developments on the U.S.-China trade front amid recent positive developments. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Sunday that licenses for American firms to sell to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei will be granted “very shortly.”

Earlier this year, Huawei was placed along with a dozen other Chinese firms on the Commerce Department’s entity list over alleged national security concerns.

Ross also provided more details on the status of a deal expected to be signed between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Ross said the agreement could be reached by the two leaders in one of several locations, including Iowa, Alaska, Hawaii or somewhere in China.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex gained 157.32 points, or 1.4%, to 11,556.85

In Korea, the Kospi picked up 30.04 points, or 1.4%, to 2,130.20

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index regained 6.97 points, or 0.2%, to 3,236.40

In Australia, the ASX 200 added 17.77 points, or 0.3%, to 6,686.87

In New Zealand, the NZX recovered 39.88 points, or 0.4%, to 10,801.55