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Asian Equities Rise Amid Easing U.S.-China Trade Tension

Asian equities rose in afternoon trade amid signs of easing U.S.-China trade tension – Asian equities rose in afternoon trade amid signs of easing U.S.-China trade tension as U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the Commerce Department to get Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp back into business.

Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that he is working with Chinese President Xi to give ZTE Corp (HK:0763) “a way to get back into business, fast.”

“Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done,” Said Trump.

The tweet came weeks after the decision to cut off the Chinese firm from its U.S. suppliers and accused the company of violating export restrictions by illegally shipping U.S. goods to Iran. ZTE suspended its main operations earlier in the month, while trading in the company’s shares has been suspended since the ban.

"This suggests that Trump might see the chance for real progress on trade talks, and is softening the U.S. position on an issue important to China," JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) said in a note.

"Trump also needs China to remain on side ahead of his meeting with North Korea's Kim and this also suggests that until the 12 June meeting the signaling from the U.S. on trade will be more positive."

Malaysian equities were another focus on Monday as the stock market reopened after a two-day holiday following a surprising victory of Mahathir Mohamad in the country's general elections last week. The FTSE Malaysia KLCI recovered in afternoon trade after recording early losses of more than 2%.

The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component both gained 0.6% by 1:00AM ET (05:00 GMT). The People's Bank of China said on Friday that it would maintain its neutral monetary policy while keeping the yuan currency basically stable. Some investors have previously expected the central bank to loosen its policies to support the economy amid growing fears of a trade war with the U.S.

Separately, U.S. officials are set to have talks in Washington with China's top trade official Liu He to resolve an intensifying trade dispute between the two nations, according to reports.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.1%. The U.S. is ready to allow investments in North Korea once it has more confirmable evidence of its denuclearization, according to reports who cited two U.S. top national security officials.

The remarks came ahead of a historic summit between Trump and Kim in Singapore on June 12.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.2%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also added 0.3%.

Looking ahead, investors’ attention would likely turn to the retail sales and industrial production data due from the U.S. and China later this week.

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