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Asian Equities Extend Gains; Resources Stocks Outperform As Oil Prices Surge

Asian stocks extended their gains in afternoon trade – Asian stocks extended their gains in afternoon trade on Thursday, with resources stocks outperforming as oil prices surged following news that Saudi Arabia and its allies have no plans to end the supply cut.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are set to start talks on trade and that they would work closer on trade and to expand investment.

"President Trump and I agreed to start talks for free, fair and reciprocal trade deals," Abe said in a joint news conference.

"On the U.S. side, they are interested in a bilateral deal," Abe told reporters. "Our country's position is that TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal) is the best for both of our countries," he added.

In response, Trump said "I don't want to go back into TPP, but if they offered us a deal that I can't refuse on behalf of the United States, I would do it.”

"But I like bilateral better. I think it's better for our country. I think it's better for our workers, and I much would prefer a bilateral deal, a deal directly with Japan," Trump noted.

Trump then added the plan for the summit could potentially be abandoned if he decides the meetings would not produce meaningful results.

“If we don’t think it’s going to be successful, we won’t have it,” Trump said “If I don’t think it’s a meeting that’s going to be fruitful, we won’t go. If the meeting when I’m there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.”

The Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% by 1:30AM ET (05:30 GMT). Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (T:7201) made headlines after it said it plans to triple sales in China in the next five years.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component continued their recoveries and climbed 1.1% and 1.5% in afternoon trade on Thursday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.1%.China’s commerce ministry said China is “well prepared” to deal with any negative impacts that comes out from the trade dispute with the U.S., while reassuring that its tariff hikes on U.S. would not have any big impact on its domestic industries.

Down under, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4%. Data on Thursday revealed the country added 4,900 jobs in March and missed an estimated gain of 20,000. The unemployment rate was 5.5%, matching expectation.

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