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Asian Markets Rise as HK Scraps Extradition Bill; China-U.S. Talks Resume in Oct

Investing.com – Asian markets rose in morning trade on Thursday. The Hang Seng Index gained 0.5% after Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam said the government is fully withdrawing an extradition bill that sparked historic unrest in the city.

The Hang Seng Index last traded at 26,652.00 by 10:44 PM ET (02:44 GMT), up 0.5%. The index surged 3.9% on Wednesday following the government announcement.

Despite Lam’s move to formally withdraw the highly controversial bill, reports suggested that protestors think Lam’s concession was "too little, too late.” They want the government to meet their other four demands, which includes the right of citizens to nominate and elect their own leaders.

Unrest in Hong Kong is expected to continue, according to most local media.

Meanwhile, shares in Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (HK:0293) declined more than 2% after its chairman John Slosar resigned on Wednesday evening. His departure came after the exit of the company’s chief executive Rubert Hogg three weeks ago.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component jumped 1.6% and 1.3% respectively.

On the Sino-U.S. trade front, China’s Ministry of Commerce confirmed that officials from Beijing and Washington held a phone call earlier in the day and agreed to resume trade talks in early October.

CNBC noted that Liu He, China’s top negotiator on trade, spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Citing a statement, the report said a U.S. Trade Representative spokesperson said the phone call took place but did not confirm the October meeting.

Previous reports suggested that the two sides would meet in September, but the meeting was thrown into doubt after tensions between the world’s two largest economies escalated in the last several weeks.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 2.2%, while South Korea’s KOSPI traded 1.2% higher.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 was up 0.9%.

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