By MarketWatch, MarketWatch
Stock markets in Asia were forging higher Monday morning, building on solid gains the previous week as hopes for a U.S.-China trade continue to rise.
Chinese stocks were among the top performers in the region with the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.81% ahead nearly 1%, with large caps again leading the way. They’re up more than 1% after the broader market jumped some 5% to start April. Shenzhen /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +0.62% benchmarks are trailing, with the Composite Index up 0.8% and the startup-heavy ChiNext just 0.1% higher.
Alcohol maker Moutai /zigman2/quotes/208743311/delayed CN:600519 +1.95% hit record highs after its 1Q update while peer /zigman2/quotes/200345064/delayed CN:600779 +8.98% umps 6.5% as Diageo /zigman2/quotes/208129584/composite DEO +0.21% builds its stake. Meanwhile, petrochemical stocks are sharply higher, boosted by a sector-wide crackdown amid a recent accident.
Hong Kong stocks were rising at a more moderate pace. The Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.61% was up 0.3% while the China Enterprises Index /zigman2/quotes/210598031/delayed CN:160462 +1.12% is 0.9% higher. Insurers have started well, with Ping An /zigman2/quotes/202773380/delayed CN:601318 -0.15% up more than 1.5% and at fresh record highs while AIA /zigman2/quotes/203565558/delayed HK:1299 -0.90% has climbed some 1.25%. Developers Country Garden and China Overseas Land are up some 1.5%, as is internet heavyweight Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 +1.94% . And oil major CNOOC /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 +3.06% has climbed 2% as crude prices continue to hit 5-month highs
Two notable exceptions to the winners were New Zealand and Singapore. The former /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR +0.38% is set for a 4-day losing streak after a run of record highs, while /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.53% enchmark is also down about 0.25% after 7-straight gains.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.14% , meanwhile, is little changed amid morning strength in the yen. Elsewhere, there are gains of about 0.5% in Australia and Taiwan, which had a 4-day weekend, is outperforming with the Taiex maintaining a 0.8% advance. S&P 500 futures have eased to session lows after Friday’s gains and are down 0.1%.
This story was compiled from Dow Jones Newswires reports.