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Asia Stocks Start December on Upbeat Note

Stock markets across Asia started with broad-based gains in December – Stock markets across Asia entered the afternoon of the first trading day of December with broad-based gains, spurred by a temporary truce on the U.S.-China trade war and the possibility of a more comprehensive deal in the near future.

Meeting during the G20 summit in Argentina, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to not introduce any new tariffs for 90 days and to step up talks to address wider structural issues in the trade relationship.

The news drove stock markets across Asia higher while also boosting prices for oil and metals.

Stock markets were the biggest gainers.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index posted gains of 2.38% by 12:40 AM ET (5:40 AM GMT). Markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen were also having a good day with significant gains. The Shanghai Composite Index was up 2.63% to 2,655 and the Shenzhen Component Index rose 3.35% to 7,939.

Chinese shares were also helped by the release of the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for November, which showed an uptick to 50.2 from 50.1 in October. Expectations had been for a reading of 50. A reading above 50 signals expansion.

On Friday, China released its official PMI which showed a reading of 50, which is neutral.

Tempering the good news was a reading on a sub-index of new export orders on the Caixin PMI, which shrank to 47.7 in November, down from 48.8 in October.

Still, the positive mood could be felt across markets through the region.

By mid-day in Asia Thursday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up by 1.06% to 22,583 and South Korea’s KOSPI was up 1.69% to 2,132.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.84% to 5,771.

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