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Stocks in Asia gain on positive US-China trade sentiment

Markets in Asia rose on Wednesday morning amid positive sentiment on the U.S.-China trade front.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 extended its gains from the previous session, rising 1.08 percent. in early trade as the Topix index advanced 0.82 percent. Shares of Apple supplier Japan Display rose 2.74 percent following a Kyodo news agency report on Tuesday that the company had received an 80 billion yen (approx $724 million) bailout.

South Korea’s Kospi also gained 0.49 percent.

The ASX 200 in Australia edged up 0.18 percent higher in morning trade. The energy subindex jumped 1.72 percent as oil stocks rose on the back of Tuesday’s rise in crude prices. Santos jumped 1.70 percent, Woodside Petroleum advanced 1.04 percent and Beach Energy surged 7.40 percent after the company announced increased sales revenue and improved guidance in its half year report for the 2019 financial year.

In overnight markets stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 372.65 points to close at 25,425.76 while the S&P 500 ended its trading day above its 200-day moving average — a closely watched level by traders — for the first time since Dec. 3. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.46 percent to close at 7,414.62.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he was open to postponing the March 2 deadline for tariffs if Washington and Beijing can reach a trade deal soon.

Trump softened his stance on the trade battle with China, saying he’s open to letting the deadline slide, but “would prefer not to.” He also said Beijing “very much wants to make a deal,” and he has “a big team” in China trying to reach a resolution.

When asked if he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of March, Trump said, “Not at this point.”

Trump’s comments came as the U.S. and China attempt to strike a deal amid an ongoing trade fight between the two economic powerhouses.

The March 2 deadline is crucial in the negotiations as U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will increase if a deal is not struck before then. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, along with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, are headed to Beijing this week for another round of negotiations with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.709 after seeing a high around 97.2 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.54 against the dollar after seeing lows around 110.6 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7100 after rising from lows below $0.707 in the previous session.

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Yun Li contributed to this report.