Australia markets closed

Asian Stocks Jump as U.S., China Narrow Differences on Trade - Asian markets jumped in morning trade on Wednesday after China and the U.S. reportedly narrowed their differences on trade.

Talks between the two countries were extended for a third day, according to various media, which added that negotiators made progress on issues including the purchase of U.S. goods and services. While the two sides have not yet reached a deal, they are likely to hold a follow-up conversation later this month, the reports added.

"Hopes on U.S.-China trade talks are helping. Some sort of deals are likely to increase Chinese imports of natural gas, soybeans and so on from the U.S. Yet, it should be hard to resolve more structural issues such as intellectual property rights," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Securities.

U.S. President Donald Trump is said to be eager to strike a deal with Beijing in an effort to support the equity markets, CNBC reported citing people familiar with internal White House deliberations.

“Talks with China are going very well!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

The new round of talks began on Monday as Beijing and Washington hoped to reach an agreement before a March 1 deadline when U.S. tariffs on some $200 billion in Chinese goods would rise to 25% from 10%.

The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component jumped 1.6% and 1.8% by 9:21 PM ET (02:21 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged 2.4% following the news.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 traded 1.2% higher. South Korea’s KOSPI was up 1.7%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 gained 0.8%.

In other news, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on Wednesday that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is cutting production for the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR models by about 10% for the March quarter.

The news came one week after the company reduced its quarterly sales forecast.

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