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Asian Stocks Surge as U.S., China Pause Trade War

Stocks surged across Asia Monday morning after the U.S. and China pause trade war – Stocks surged across Asia Monday morning after the U.S. and China hit the pause button on their ongoing trade war.

Futures on U.S. indices also surged, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all getting ready to open almost 2% higher.

The renewed appetite for stocks followed a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump Saturday night during the G20 summit in Argentina. The two presidents agreed to not introduce any new tariffs for 90 days while talks on a trade deal step up.

“This is the best outcome that we had hoped for out of this meeting,” Frances Cheung, head of Asia macro strategy at Westpack Banking Group told Bloomberg.

While the trade dispute between the two countries is not resolved yet, a significant easing of tensions would help stocks across the region. Bourses have been pricing in the likely impact of an expected increase in U.S. tariffs on Jan. 1 on about $200 billion worth of Chinese exports.

By mid-morning Monday, virtually all significant bourses in Asia were higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 2.83%% to 27,258 by 9:35PM EST (02:10AM GMT), starting December on a strong note after finishing November with the highest monthly gain in years.

Bourses in mainland China were also up surging as investors hoped an easing of tension would revive bourses that have taken a beating this year. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.72% to 2,658 and the Shenzhen Component Index surged 3.37% to 7,940.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 1.39% to 22,661 and South Korea’s KOSPI was up 1.78% at 2,134.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 1.66% to 5,761.

Bourses elsewhere in places like Singapore, the Philippines and Taiwan were also trading higher.

“In contrast to the fear – especially in Asia – that the hawks in (the) US administration would make impossible demands, evidence of President Trump working towards a trade deal with China has emerged,” said Helen Qiao, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) in a note to clients referenced by CNBC. “Obviously there is a long way to go here, but the pattern of previous deals is playing out.”

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