Nikkei, Hang Seng Soar Amid Trade Hope

Shares in Asia jumped on Friday following news that Washington and Beijing have agreed to a phase one trade deal in principle.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 headed skyward 598.29 points, or 2/6%, to 24,023.10, as shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing soared 4.4%.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan’s "tankan" survey released Friday showing business confidence among the country’s large manufacturers diving to its lowest level in more than six years.

The Japanese yen, often seen as a safe-haven currency in times of market uncertainty, traded at 109.64 against the U.S. dollar after weakening sharply from levels below 108.6 yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index hiked 693.62 points, or 2.6%, to 27,687.76, as shares of Tencent jumped 3.4%, while HSBC spiked 3%.

Korean stocks leaped, with shares of chipmaker SK Hynix skyrocketing 5.4%.

Australian markets grew, too, with shares of major miner BHP improving 1.9%. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6922 after rising from levels below $0.688 in the previous session.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 recovered 77.2 points, or 2%, to 3,968.22

The moves came amid U.S.-China trade optimism. The White House has offered to scrap the next round of tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. that are set to take effect on Sunday, sources told media outlets on Thursday. Washington has also proposed slashing existing duties on $360 billion in Chinese products by 50%.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex gained zoomed 91.31 points, or 0.8%, to 11,927.73

In Korea, the Kospi added 32.9 points, or 1.5%, to 2,170.25

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index moved higher 19.38 points, or 0.6%, to 3,214.05

In New Zealand, the NZX proved the exception and lost 66.39 points, or 0.6%, to 11,241.59

In Australia, the ASX 200 restocked 30.85 points, or 0.5%, to 6,739.68