SHANGHAI - Stocks in Asia mostly rallied Thursday after Chinese officials announced that they've agreed with the United States to hold another round of trade talks in Washington next month.
The Shanghai Composite Index advanced as much as 2%, jumping above 3,000 points for the first time in two months. It's now up 1.1% and on track for its fourth straight day of gains.
Japan's Nikkei climbed 2.3%, while South Korea's Kospi rose 1%.
China's Commerce Ministry on Thursday announced that the country's Vice Premier and chief trade negotiator Liu He has spoken with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and that both sides agreed to meet in Washington in October.
The two sides will continue talking before then, according to the Commerce Ministry.
A spokesperson for Lighthizer's department confirmed the two sides talked and agreed to hold talks in the US capital "in the coming weeks."
Global markets have spent last few weeks in a state of anxiety as the US-China trade war has escalated dramatically. The latest round of tariffs the United States and China imposed on each other went into effect on Sunday. More tariffs are on the way.
"Any sliver of optimism on the trade war front will be viewed in a very positive light," said Stephen Innes, a market strategist for Asia Pacific at AxiTrader. "Surely both parties can't be happy to move forward with their scorched earth policy."
The gains will likely extend into Wall Street trading hours, said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Asia Pacific for Oanda. But he said investors need to be cautious about what will happen in the long term.
"We will need to see some sort of concrete deal put in place and a winding back of tariffs before I will start getting excited about the global economic outlook for 2020," Halley said.
US futures also rallied during Asia hours. The Dow was up 1%, or roughly 270 points, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both advanced about 1%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, however, fell Thursday afternoon. The index was down 0.8%, erasing earlier gains.
The drop came a day after the Hang Seng rallied nearly 4% — its best day of the year. That jump came after reports, subsequently confirmed, that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam would formally withdraw a controversial extradition bill that sparked months of protests in the financial hub.
Hong Kong property developers in particular pulled back from their huge gains Wednesday.
Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's flagship airline, fell nearly 3%. The company announced late Wednesday in a filing with the stock exchange that Chairman John Slosar would step down. Cathay is not listed on the Hang Seng.