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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks extend gains on trade deal optimism

Infosys slumps after whistle-blower complaints against top management

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan rose Tuesday as positive comments from U.S. President Donald Trump on Sino-American trade relations helped sentiment.

The Nikkei Asia300 index added 0.3% to close at 1,293.71.

Trump said on Monday that a deal with China was advancing, while Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer echoed the president's comments from last week that the first phase of a deal could be signed by the time the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit takes place in Chile in mid-November. Both the nations have achieved some progress in trade talks, China's Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said Tuesday.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, meanwhile, said it was more important to get details of the agreement right than it was for Trump to sign it during an expected meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Chile next month.

Trump "seems to be satisfied with the current progress so expect more tweets from him that will continue to fuel market optimism pushing asset prices higher," Piotr Matys, a foreign exchange strategist at Rabobank, wrote in a note.

Infosys, India's second-largest software services exporter, plunged 16.2% in Mumbai after the company said an internal audit panel is investigating multiple whistle-blower complaints against its top management, including Chief Executive Salil Parekh.

China Mobile slipped 1.1% in Hong Kong following a 14% decline in net profit for the January-to-September period.

China Unicom (Hong Kong) fell 3.8%. The mobile phone services provider said it added 0.083 million mobile billing subscribers in September, lower than the 0.184 million it had added in August. Subscribers for its 4G service increased by 3.351 million to 251.2 million. The company had added 5.06 million 4G subscribers in the previous month.

Hyundai Motor ended unchanged in Seoul. The carmaker is considering raising its stake in its truck joint venture in China, according to Reuters.

Shares of Keppel Corp. surged 14.4% as trading resumed on Tuesday after Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings said it plans to buy another 30.55% of the company for 4.1 billion Singapore dollars ($3 billion) to gain majority control.

Manila Electric, the Philippines' largest power distributor, slipped 0.3%. The government of Ghana reportedly terminated the concession agreement with a power distribution utility led by Manila Electric on allegations of "material breaches."

--Suzannah Benjamin

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