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Asian Stocks Up; Hang Seng Jumps as Pro-Democracy Camp Dominates District Election

Investing.com - Asian markets gained in morning trade on Monday. Hong Kong stocks jumped as pro-democracy candidates gained control of 17 out of 18 district councils.

The Hang Seng Index surged 1.9% by 10:40 PM ET (02:40 GMT). Developers’ stocks outperformed as they are most sensitive to the demonstrations. Wharf Real Estate Investment Co Ltd (HK:1997) jumped 5.3%, while New World Development Co Ltd (HK:0017) climbed 2.7%.

The latest election will likely prompt the city’s government to respond to some key issues, analysts said.

“If some of these issues could be handled peacefully and smoothly, then the market may have confidence that violence may stop in near future,” said Andy Wong, a fund manager at LW Asset Management in a Bloomberg report.

“There is this relief that pro-democracy protesters are now being represented, and the government has to deal with this,” said Airy Lau, an investment director at Fair Capital Management Ltd. “I don’t think the government will respond in a harsh way.”

Meanwhile, Chinese state media continued to criticize the U.S. and accused it of meddling in Beijing’s internal affairs. Attempts to use Hong Kong “to contain China’s development is a pipe dream,” according to the People’s Daily. “Their evil hope is that Hong Kong will go down in chaos and become a card in their hands to hold back China’s development,” the state-run media said in a front-page commentary.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday also called the U.S. the “biggest destabilizing element.”

China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.4%, while the Shenzhen Component lost 0.6%.

Citing sources including U.S. and Beijing officials, lawmakers and trade experts, Reuters reported that a phase two trade agreement is looking less likely as China and the U.S. are struggling to even reach a preliminary phase one deal. Reuters previously reported that the signing of a partial trade deal might slide into next year.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 traded 0.8% higher. South Korea’s KOSPI advanced 1.0%.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.3%.

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