Trade Progress Sparks Higher Stock Markets

Asia markets saw gains on Wednesday as investors remained cautiously optimistic about trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, which wrapped up on Wednesday after three days.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index vaulted 223.02 points, or 1.1%, to 20,427.06, with almost all sectors rising.

The Japanese yen, widely seen as a safe-haven currency, traded at 108.97 against the U.S. dollar after seeing an earlier high of 108.66 yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index added 586.87 points, or 2.3%, to 26,462.32. Shares of Chinese tech juggernaut Tencent soared more than 3%

Electronics company Xiaomi, on the other hand, saw its stock drop about 6% after J.P. Morgan slashed its price target on the stock. Expressing confidence in the stock’s long-term value, Xiaomi announced Wednesday that its controlling shareholders “shall not dispose of any shares of the Company directly or indirectly beneficially owned by them” for the next 365 days.

In Korea, shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics advanced 3.9% and steelmaker Posco rose 4.1% Shares of chipmaker SK Hynix also soared 7.4%.

Australian markets hiked, with all sectors advancing. The energy sub-index added 1.9% as oil stocks mostly gained; shares of Santos rose 1.4%, Woodside Petroleum higher by 2.3% and Beach Energy surged 5.2%.

The moves in the oil sector Down Under came on the back of Tuesday’s strong gain in oil prices, with the rally extending into Wednesday. In the afternoon of Asian trade, international benchmark Brent crude futures gained 1.1% to $59.39 U.S. per barrel while U.S. crude futures advanced 1.2% to $50.39 per barrel.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7155 U.S. after seeing lows above $0.711 in the previous session.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 regained 30.78 points, or 1%, to 3,078.48

Trade talks between Washington and Beijing concluded on Wednesday, and China’s Foreign Ministry said results would soon be released. Negotiations between the world’s two largest economies extended into an unscheduled third day.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained 35.13 points, or 1.1%, to 3,158.07

In Korea, the Kospi index restored 39.44 points, or 2%, to 2,046.71

In Taiwan, the Taiex index rocketed 174.71 points, or 1.8%, to 9,738.31

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 moved higher 126.07 points, or 1.4%, to 8,947.22

In Australia, the ASX 200 gained 55.85 points, or 1%, to 5,778.29