© Reuters.

Investing.com – Asian stocks rose in morning trade on Monday following a Xinhua report that said China and the U.S. have made“concrete progress” on a potential trade agreement between the two sides.

China’s and the advanced 1.1% and 1.6% respectively by 10:36 PM ET (02:36 GMT). Hong Kong’s gained 1.0%. Shares of rail operator MTR Corp Ltd (HK:) declined 0.8% after two subway trains collided during a system test.

Japan’s traded 0.7% higher even after the Ministry of Finance data showed the country’s fell for a third straight month in February.

Exports were down 1.2% year-on-year in February, more than a 0.9% decrease expected and followed a sharp 8.4% year-on-year drop in January.

Separately, various media reported on Friday that the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) might demote about a third of its largest listed companies.

Regulators would examine public comments on structural reforms for the equity market. The reported changes might end up demoting hundreds of companies from the TSE’s First Section and are part of an effort to streamline markets and attract more investors, Bloomberg reported.

South Korea’s edged up 0.1%.

Down under, Australia’s rose 0.2%.

The gains in Asian markets followed a report by the Xinhua news agency last Friday that suggested China and the U.S. have made progress toward striking a deal.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had a telephone conversation with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last Thursday, the report added, without giving further details.

Meanwhile, investors will closely monitor the upcoming U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting. The Fed is expected to keep rates unchanged, and to revise its plan for a median projection down to just one rate hike this year.

The central bank might also announce the end of asset roll-off from its balance sheet, analysts said. The decision is due Wednesday.

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2019-03-17