Asian stocks rose Monday after news reports said Washington and Beijing are close to reaching an agreement as early as this month to end their costly tariff war.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul advanced after Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal, citing unidentified sources, said China was offering to ease tariffs and other restrictions on U.S. farm, chemical, auto and other products. They said Washington would remove most sanctions on Chinese imports.

A deal might be completed in time to be signed by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping this month, the reports said. But they cautioned the two sides still were negotiating on the issue that sparked the dispute: Chinese plans for state-led creation of global technology competitors that Washington, Europe and other trading partners say violate Beijing’s market-opening obligations.

The battle between the two biggest global economies has rattled global financial markets for months. Investors worry it will weigh on global economic growth that already is showing signs of slowing.

“Speculation that both the U.S. and China are close to signing a deal will keep market players slightly upbeat,” Nicholas Mapa and Prakash Sakpal of ING said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index

SHCOMP, +1.12%

  rose 2.6%, to its highest level since June, and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite

399106, +2.21%

  surged 3.5%. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225

NIK, +1.02%

  added 1.2%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng

HSI, +0.67%

  advanced 1.1% and Seoul’s Kospi

SEU, -0.22%

  was 0.3% higher. Sydney’s S&P-ASX

XJO, +0.40%

  gained 0.5%. New Zealand

NZ50GR, +0.66%

  and Singapore

STI, +0.89%

  advanced while Taiwan

Y9999, -0.38%

  retreated.

Among individual stocks, SoftBank Group

9984, +2.40%

 , e-commerce company Rakuten

4755, +6.33%

  and robotics maker Fanuc

6954, +3.48%

  rose in Tokyo trading. AAC Technologies

2018, +4.46%

  and Ping An Insurance

2318, +1.90%

  gained in Hong Kong, while Hang Seng Bank

0011, -1.69%

  fell. LG Electronics

066570, +0.99%

 advanced in Korea while Hyundai Motor

005380, -3.56%

  sank. Mining companies Rio Tinto

RIO, +1.59%

  and Fortescue Metals

FMG, +6.86%

  gained in Australia

Investors are watching this week’s session of China’s ceremonial national legislature for announcements of official policy on exchange rate policy, trade, industrial policy and possible economic stimulus.

The legislature is due to endorse a law that would address one portion of foreign complaints about Beijing’s regulation system by discouraging officials from pressuring companies to hand over technology.

Forecasters expect the government to announce an annual growth target of at least 6%. Few major changes are expected, but economists expect more government spending to shore up cooling growth.

Health care and technology companies helped lift U.S. stocks Friday, breaking a three-day losing streak for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and giving the benchmark index its fifth straight weekly gain. The S&P 500

SPX, +0.69%

  climbed 0.7% to 2,803.69. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.43%

  rose 0.4% to 26,026.32. The Nasdaq composite

COMP, +0.83%

  gained 0.8 percent to 7,595.35.

Benchmark U.S. crude

CLJ9, +0.25%

  gained 22 cents to $56.02 per barrel in electronics trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.40 on Friday to $55.80. Brent crude

LCOK9, +0.28%

 , used to price international oils, added 30 cents to $65.37 per barrel in London. It lost $1.24 the previous session to $65.07.

The dollar

USDJPY, +0.02%

  rose to 111.99 yen from Friday’s 111.92 yen.

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2019-03-03