Asia stocks higher amid optimism on US-China trade, ECB stimulus

Stocks in Asia rose on Friday as investors digested a series of overnight developments on the U.S.-China trade front as well as the European Central Bank (ECB).

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.05% to close at 21,988.29 as shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing and Softbank Group gained 0.62% and 3.2%, respectively. The Topix index finished its trading day 0.93% higher at 1,609.87.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.68%, as of its final hour of trading, with shares of life insurer AIA up 1.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.21% higher at 6,669.20.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.52%.

Markets in China and South Korea were closed on Friday for holidays.