Stock markets in Asia were forging higher Monday morning, building on solid gains the previous week as hopes for a U.S.-China trade continue to rise.

Chinese stocks were among the top performers in the region with the Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, -0.05%

  ahead nearly 1%, with large caps again leading the way. They’re up more than 1% after the broader market jumped some 5% to start April. Shenzhen

399106, -0.55%

  benchmarks are trailing, with the Composite Index up 0.8% and the startup-heavy ChiNext just 0.1% higher.

Alcohol maker Moutai

600519, +4.07%

  hit record highs after its 1Q update while peer

600779, +3.40%

 umps 6.5% as Diageo

DEO, -0.09%

 builds its stake. Meanwhile, petrochemical stocks are sharply higher, boosted by a sector-wide crackdown amid a recent accident.

Hong Kong stocks were rising at a more moderate pace. The Hang Seng Index

HSI, +0.41%

  was up 0.3% while the China Enterprises Index

HSCEI, +0.81%

 is 0.9% higher. Insurers have started well, with Ping An

601318, +0.49%

  up more than 1.5% and at fresh record highs while AIA

1299, -0.12%

 has climbed some 1.25%. Developers Country Garden and China Overseas Land are up some 1.5%, as is internet heavyweight Tencent

0700, +0.90%

 . And oil major CNOOC

0883, +3.06%

 has climbed 2% as crude prices continue to hit 5-month highs

Two notable exceptions to the winners were New Zealand and Singapore. The former

NZ50GR, -0.51%

 is set for a 4-day losing streak after a run of record highs, while

STI, -0.26%

 enchmark is also down about 0.25% after 7-straight gains.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, -0.21%

 , meanwhile, is little changed amid morning strength in the yen. Elsewhere, there are gains of about 0.5% in Australia and Taiwan, which had a 4-day weekend, is outperforming with the Taiex maintaining a 0.8% advance. S&P 500 futures have eased to session lows after Friday’s gains and are down 0.1%.

This story was compiled from Dow Jones Newswires reports.

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