HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks edged higher on Monday, as investors digested some signs of progress in Sino-American trade talks.
The Nikkei Asia300 Index rose 0.3% to 1,289.45.
Trade relations between the U.S. and China appeared to improve after a round of high-level trade talks in Washington earlier this month concluded with the U.S. deciding to hold off on increasing certain tariffs on Chinese goods and China committing to buy more American agricultural produce.
Since then, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He has reportedly said there had been "substantial progress" to lay the foundation for a phase one agreement. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he thinks a deal with China will be signed by the time Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit takes place in Chile on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to attend the meetings.
In Hong Kong, protests continued for a 20th consecutive weekend, with demonstrators participating in an illegal march on Sunday that turned violent amid clashes with police. A months-long movement in the city has shown little signs of easing as activists' demands have evolved from the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill to broader democratic rights.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley on Sunday further downgraded their real gross domestic product forecast for Hong Kong to a decline of 0.8% in 2019 from an earlier estimate of a 0.3% dip.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam's policy address last week "provided some measures to support property demand and livelihoods, but that may not be able to fully offset near-term growth headwinds from both external and domestic sources," the analysts wrote in a note.
The Hang Seng Index ended little changed on Monday.
Meanwhile, in Singapore, state investor Temasek Holdings on Monday said it plans to make a partial offer for the shares in conglomerate Keppel Corp. Temasek, which currently owns 20.45% of Keppel, said it plans to buy another 30.55% of the stock, raising its ownership to 51%. The offer price of S$7.35 a share represents a premium of 26% over Keppel's last traded price of S$5.84 a share.
Trading in Keppel's shares was suspended earlier Monday.
China Life Insurance jumped 5% in Hong Kong after saying it expects net profit for the January-to-September period to have increased 180% to 200% from a year earlier.
Ping An Insurance Group edged 0.4% lower. The Chinese insurance company on Friday said accumulated gross premium income for its life insurance and health insurance business stood at 417.9 billion yuan ($59.1 billion) for the January-to-September period.
China Shenhua Energy slipped 0.5% after reporting a 5.9% decline in September coal sales volume.
Chinese conglomerate CITIC ended 0.6% higher. The company's unit CITIC Pacific on Sunday said it will offer to buy the shares it does not already own in Chinese car dealer Dah Chong Hong Holdings for about 3.02 billion Hong Kong dollars ($385 million).
Thailand's Kasikornbank fell 2% in Bangkok. The banking group on Monday reported a 2.2% increase in third-quarter net profit.