Japan’s Nikkei 225 (N225)
jumped 0.5%, and is trading at its highest level in about a year. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSI)
rose 0.5%, too, though pared back its gains and was last trading only slightly positive.
South Korea’s Kospi (KOSPI)
advanced 0.1%. China’s Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP)
was the region’s major outlier. It was trading down 0.3%, accelerating earlier losses.
The mostly positive day in Asia comes after the S&P 500 (SPX)
set a new closing record on Wall Street overnight. The Dow (INDU)
and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
also closed higher but fell just short of setting a new records.
Hope for an improving US-China trade relationship appears to be driving optimism in the markets. Stocks trended upward last week after the Office of the US Trade Representative said that the world’s two largest economies had made headway in finalizing a “phase one” trade agreement.
On Monday during US hours, President Donald Trump told reporters that the United States is ahead of schedule in terms of signing a trade deal.
Investors may also be looking to the Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy decision later this week. Chances of another quarter-percentage point interest rate cut stand at 94%, according to the CME FedWatch Tool
. It would be the third rate cut this year.