Asian Stocks Advance as China, U.S. Move Closer to Trade Agreement – Asian stocks advanced in morning trade on Wednesday following reports that China and the U.S. are moving closer to a trade agreement.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component edged up 0.1% by 10:32 PM ET (02:32 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.9%.

While not a directional driver, a private survey showed that the Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 54.4, the highest since January 2018 and up from February’s 51.1, a fourth-month low.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept its policy cash rate unchanged at 1.50%. In a statement, RBA Governor Philip Lowe said that the bank would “continue to monitor developments and set monetary policy to support sustainable growth.”

News on the Sino-U.S. trade front remained in the spotlight today. A Financial Times (FT) report said late Tuesday that officials from China and the U.S. have resolved most of the outstanding issues and are now closer to agreeing a trade deal.

However, a number of important issue, including the removal of existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, were yet to be agreed, the article noted.

Myron Brilliant, executive vice president for international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told reporters that 90% of the deal have been ironed out, according to the FT report.

The U.S. and China are set to resume trade negotiations in Washington later in the day. The latest round of talks follow discussions last week in Beijing. It was reported at the time that it could take “weeks, or even months” for the two sides to reach a deal.