Asia stocks higher amid trade developments

Stocks in Asia mostly traded higher Thursday afternoon as investors digest recent developments on U.S.-China trade.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.7% in afternoon trade as shares of index heavyweight and robot maker Fanuc jumped more than 2%. The Topix index added 0.41%.

Mainland Chinese stocks edged higher by the afternoon, with the Shanghai composite up 0.32% and the Shenzhen component gaining 0.62%. The Shenzhen composite added 0.635%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.33%.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia also advanced after leading losses among regional markets on Wednesday, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 1.06%.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released Thursday showed retail sales in the country were largely flat from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis. That was below expectations for a 0.3% increase from a Reuters poll.

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