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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks climb on trade deal hopes

AIA, ICBC and ABC rise in Hong Kong after third-quarter results

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan advanced on Monday, helped by upbeat earnings for financial heavyweights in the region and as hopes of a trade deal between the U.S. and China grew.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index added 0.7% to 1,299.24.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office on Friday said Beijing and Washington could be close to finalizing parts of a trade deal. Meanwhile, China's Commerce Ministry reportedly said the two nations had agreed to address each other's core concerns.

The remarks echo recent indications from both countries that the two sides might be ready to sign off on phase one of a trade deal by the time Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping attend a summit in Chile next month.

"Short-term investors are smelling a reversal in risk sentiment," Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, wrote in a note. "Even a mini U.S.-China trade deal together with the removal of the no-deal Brexit risk could trigger a decisive turn in sentiment."

The European Union on Monday agreed to extend Brexit until Jan. 31, lowering the odds of Britain exiting the bloc without a deal. Britain will, however, have the option to leave the EU earlier if a deal is approved by parliament earlier.

In Hong Kong, pan-Asia insurer AIA Group added 3.7% after reporting a 1% increase in the value of new business. The insurer said value of new business, excluding Hong Kong, rose 14% in the third quarter from a year ago.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China added 1.8% after reporting a 5.8% increase in third-quarter net profit and a 5.4% higher net interest income.

Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) rose 1.2% following a 6.1% increase in third-quarter net profit amid narrower credit impairment losses.

Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor surged 13.9% after reporting a more than sixfold increase in net profit for the third quarter.

Hyundai Heavy Industries edged 0.1% higher after reporting a 38% on-year decline in third-quarter operating profit.

In the Philippines, financial services company BDO Unibank climbed 2.8% after reporting a 49% increase in net income for the nine months ended in September.

Markets in Singapore, Malaysia and India were closed on Monday for local holidays.

--Suzannah Benjamin

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