Asian Shares Rise As Trump Extends Tariff Deadline


Asian stocks rose broadly on Monday, with Chinese markets leading regional gains after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would delay the deadline for additional tariffs on Chinese goods set to begin on March 1.

Citing substantial progress in trade talks, Trump also indicated he plans to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to reach a final deal.

Gains outside China were limited as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of the historical summit of the U.S. and North Korea.

Chinese shares soared as investors cheered the U.S. decision to extend the deadline for the tariff hike.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index jumped as much as 157.06 points or 5.6 percent to 2,961.28 to enter a bull market, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended up by half a percent at 28,959.30.

Japanese shares advanced after snapping a four-session winning streak to end lower on Friday.

The Nikkei average rose 102.72 points or 0.48 percent to 21,528.23, marking a ten-week high as investors monitored ongoing U.S.-China trade talks. The broader Topix index closed 0.71 percent higher at 1,620.87.

Exporters Canon, Honda Motor, Panasonic and Sony rose around 1 percent.

Companies with exposure to China surged, with Keyence Corp climbing 4.3 percent and Yaskawa Electric adding 2.7 percent. Nintendo gained 1 percent on share buyback news.

Australian markets rose after Trump said on Sunday he would extend a deadline to escalate tariffs on Chinese imports and looked forward to a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to seal a deal. Upbeat earnings also offered some support.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index gained 19 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 6,186.30 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 21.70 points or 0.35 percent at 6,263.60.

Mining stocks surged as renewed optimism on trade helped lift commodity prices, with copper hitting its highest level since last July.

BHP and Fortescue Metals Group climbed 1-2 percent while BlueScope Steel soared 6.3 percent after reporting a 42 percent jump in first-half profit on double-digit increase in revenue and a weaker Australian dollar.

Brambles rallied 2.9 percent after it agreed to sell its reusable plastic container business. QBE Insurance jumped 4.2 percent as it swung back into the black on significantly reduced catastrophe claims.

Origin Energy lost 2.9 percent after the company said it would suffer a $44 million hit to pre-tax earnings from proposed reforms to reduce the cost of energy for consumers.

Boral dropped 1.2 percent, oOh!Media plunged 8.6 percent and Lendlease Group slumped 6.4 percent on disappointing earnings.

Seoul stocks ended largely unchanged as investors looked ahead to the upcoming summit between the United States and North Korea slated for later this week.

The benchmark Kospi finished marginally higher at 2,232.56. Tech stocks fell, with SK Hynix falling 1.7 percent and LG Electronics declining 2.6 percent.

New Zealand shares finished modestly higher, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index finishing up 35.42 points or 0.38 percent at 9,344.63. Synlait Milk shares jumped over 4 percent.

Retail sales in New Zealand climbed a seasonally adjusted 1.7 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2018, Statistics New Zealand said today in a report.

That surpassed expectations for an increase of 0.5 percent following the upwardly revised 0.3 percent gain in the three months prior.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday to reach their best closing levels in over three months as investors cheered signs of progress in trade talks between the U.S. and China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.7 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.6 percent.