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Asian Stocks Mixed; China-U.S. trade hopes, Brexit Deal in Focus - Asian stocks were mixed in morning trade on Thursday following reports that China delivered a written response to U.S. trade demands. Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May secured backing from her cabinet for a draft Brexit deal, according to reports.

The Shanghai Composite rose 0.7%, while the SZSE Component inched up 0.3% by 10:45 PM ET (03:45 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.5%.

Chinese stocks were lifted by reports that Beijing and Washington resumed talks to diffuse their trade disputes earlier this week.

Citing three U.S. government sources, Reuters reported that China delivered a written response to the U.S. for trade reform. However, the sources did not provide any further details.

Trump has repeatedly accused Beijing over intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies and the U.S. trade deficit with China. The two leaders are expected to meet at the G-20 summit later in the month.

Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has secured backing from her cabinet for a withdrawal agreement with the E.U., reports on Wednesdays said.

The deal keeps the U.K. within the customs union of the EU for an unspecified amount of time and includes a 21-month transition period after U.K.’s departure in March next year, according to the BBC.

“The collective decision of cabinet was that the government should agree the draft withdrawal agreement and the outline political declaration,” May said outside her Downing Street residence after a five-hour cabinet meeting.

“I firmly believe with my head and my heart that this is a decision in the best interests of the entire United Kingdom.”

“The choice before us is clear: This deal,” she said, “or leave with no deal, or no Brexit at all.”

However, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, says there's much work still to do, and the path may be difficult.

Reports on Wednesday said U.K. Pensions Secretary Esther McVey and fellow cabinet ministers including Andrea Leadsom and Penny Mordaunt might resign in the days ahead as they weighed up whether they can stay in May’s government to see through the proposed terms of Brexit.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 0.6% while South Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.2%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 slid 0.7%.

In other news, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said in Dallas on Wednesday that the U.S. economy is “in such a good place right now” and that markets should be prepared that the central bank could raise rates at any time starting in 2019.

Powell reiterated the central bank is independent and would continue to do what is best for the U.S. economy.

His comments came after Trump accused the Fed of raising rates too fast during his administration.

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