Mainland Stocks Jump as Phase-One Deal Nears

Asia stocks mostly rose by the close Monday, as investors awaited the signing of a phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China.

Japan’s markets were closed for a holiday on Monday. The safe-haven Japanese yen traded at 109.63 versus the U.S. dollar, weakening from last week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index leaped 316.74 points, or 1.1%, to 28,954.94. Tech stocks notched gains, with Sunny Optical rising 2.6% and Lenovo surging 3.2%. Gaming company Razer shot up almost 10% in the morning before paring gains to last rise 8.33%. It announced earlier this month that it had submitted an application for a digital banking license in Singapore.

In South Korea, indices rose, with cosmetics stocks notching significant gains.

Taiwan indexes hiked as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was reelected in a landslide victory over the weekend elections.

She beat her main opponent Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang party — which favors close ties with China — by more than 2.6 million votes.

That could fuel further tension with China, which has tried to get the island to accept its rule by way of threats and economic inducements.
Australian stocks declined, with oil stocks seeing losses. Origin Energy declined 1.7%, Woodside Petroleum was down 1.2%, and Santos tumbled 0.6%. Oil Search was off by 1.9%.

But gold stocks in Australia rallied on Monday to erase last week’s losses after prices fell following declining U.S.-Iran escalation risks. Evolution Mining surged 2.8%, and Kingsgate Consolidated jumped 1.1%.

The Australian dollar was at around $0.6913, strengthening after sliding last week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 40.8 points, or 1%, to 4,203.99.

This week Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese officials are due to sign the long-awaited phase one trade deal between both countries, which have been embroiled in a long-running trade dispute. China’s Vice Premier Liu He, who leads the Chinese negotiation team in the trade talks, is set to visit Washington from today, the country’s commerce ministry said.

The deal will involve some tariff relief, increased Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural goods and changes to intellectual property and technology rules. Meanwhile, Washington and Beijing have agreed to hold semi-annual talks in targeting to resolve disputes and push for reforms

The Chinese yuan jumped to a five-month high last week in anticipation of the signing. The currency continued strengthening on Monday to slip below the 6.90 level in the afternoon during Asia hours. The offshore yuan appreciated to 6.8989, from last week’s high of 6.9775. The onshore yuan was at 6.8996, as compared to a high of 6.9786 last week.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex triumphed 88.77 points, or 0.7%, to 12,113.43

In Korea, the Kospi index added 22.87 points, or 1%, to 2,229.26

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index let go of 4.88 points, or 0.2%, to 3,251.07

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 8.03 points, or 0.1%, to 11,543.67

In Australia, the ASX 200 slipped 25.36 points, or 0.4%, to 6,903.67