Asian Stocks Rise on Hopes that China-U.S. Trade Deal Could Soon Materialise – Asian stocks rose in morning trade on Thursday amid hopes that a trade deal between China and the U.S. could soon materialise.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.6% and 0.4% by 10:28 PM ET (02:28 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.1%.

Chinese airline stocks outperformed today with gains as much as 20% following reports that the Hong Kong government is planning to cut some infrastructure levies.

Air China Ltd (HK:0753) jumped 12%, while China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd (HK:0670) and China Southern (NYSE:SO) Airlines Co Ltd (HK:1055) surged more than 15%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 also inched up 0.1%, while South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.2%.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters on Wednesday that China has for the first time acknowledged that the U.S. “has a point” about intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer and cyber hacking.

Kudlow said it is a “significant step” toward signing a deal, although the two countries need to iron out some other differences before they could agree on a deal.

He then added that negotiators are “making good headway, but we’re not there and we hope this week to get closer.”

The latest round of negotiations is continuing in Washington this week. U.S. President Donald Trump is set to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He later in the day, according to a White House schedule.

The Financial Times reported yesterday that the two sides have resolved 90% of the issues surrounding the deal.

In the U.K., Parliament approved a bill to block a no-deal Brexit. The passage of the bill sets the U.K. on course for a long Brexit extension unless Prime Minister Theresa May could manage to salvage her withdrawal deal in the coming days.