Asia markets were mostly in positive territory on Monday morning, with trade talks between the U.S. and China set to continue in Washington this week after high-level meetings in Beijing concluded on Friday.
The mainland Chinese markets gained in early trade. The Shanghai composite jumped around 1.11 percent while the Shenzhen component rose 1.222 percent. The Shenzhen composite advanced 1.111 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also gained 1.45 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.72 percent in morning trade, while the Topix also advanced 1.43 percent. Shares of Fast Retailing, the company behind the Uniqlo chain of apparel stores, surged more than 4 percent.
Meanwhile, the Kospi in South Korea gained 0.92 percent as industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics saw its stock gain 1.3 percent.
Australia’s ASX 200 traded 0.48 percent higher in afternoon trade as most sectors saw gains. The energy subindex rose more than 1.6 percent as shares of the oil companies advanced. Santos rose 1.79 percent, Woodside Petroleum gained 2.16 percent and Beach Energy advanced 2.92 percent.
Over in Singapore, where the country is set to unveil its budget for 2019 later on Monday, DBS gained 1.77 percent after the bank announced a 28 percent increase in net profit in 2018.
Trade talks set to continue
Following a round of negotiations in Beijing last week, trade talks between the U.S. and China are set to continue in Washington this week. Both parties had reported progress following the five days of negotiations last week.
U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking at a White House news conference, said Washington was closer than ever before to “having a real trade deal” with Beijing and that he would be “honored” to remove tariffs if an agreement can be reached. He added, however, that the talks were “very complicated.”
Trump also reiterated the possibility of extending the Mar. 1 deadline. Additional tariffs on Chinese goods might go into effect if Washington and Beijing fail to reach a deal by the date.
“U.S. and Chinese news are reporting slightly different rates of progress on key trade talks held on Friday and over the weekend,” strategists from Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a note.
“I think all of this is just a lot of political theater,” Kim Iskyan, analyst at Stansberry Pacific Research, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday. “I think that (it) doesn’t suit either party to really come to any sort of definitive conclusion anytime soon. But markets like to hear … all the chatter.”
Iskyan said the two sides would likely end up “kicking … the whole can down the road again,” adding that the deadline in early March “was kind of bogus in the first place.”
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.828 after seeing highs above 97.3 last week.
The Japanese yen, widely viewed as a safe-haven currency, traded at 110.54 against the dollar after seeing lows of around 111 in the previous week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7149 after seeing lows of about $0.705 last week.
Oil prices rose in the morning of Asian trading hours. International benchmark Brent crude futures advanced 0.35 percent to $66.48 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 0.68 percent to $55.97 per barrel.