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Asian Stocks Climb as U.S., China Put Trade War on Hold

Asian equities climbed in morning trade – Asian equities climbed in morning trade on Monday as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that the trade war with China is now put on hold."We are putting the trade war on hold. Right now, we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework," Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin’s comment came after the U.S. and China released a joint statement on Saturday that said China would buy more energy and agricultural commodities from the U.S. to “substantially” narrow the trade deficit between the two nations. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and senior American officials, including Trump, had a two days meeting in Washington last week to discuss trade matters.

However, no dollar figure was mentioned in the joint statement, despite Trump demanded that China reduce its trade surplus by $200 billion in an initial round of talks held in Beijing earlier this month.

The Shanghai Composite and the SZSE Component opened 0.2% and 0.5% higher by 9:33PM ET (01:33 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.3%.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.1% in morning trade.

Oil and gas producer Santos Ltd (AX:STO) made headlines on Monday after the company said it received an improved $10.84 billion offer from the U.S.-based Harbour Energy.

The new offer is equivalent to A$6.95 a share at an exchange rate of 75 U.S. cents to 1 Australian dollar, and is at an 11.2% premium to the last close of Santos shares on Friday.

The bid, if successful, would mark the biggest takeover of an Australian oil and gas producer, according to reports.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.5%. Exports in April grew 7.8% from the same period a year ago, official data showed on Monday, compared with the median estimate for an 8.1% annual increase. Exports grew an annual 2.1% in March.

South Korea’s KOSPI was up 0.3%.

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