Hong Kong shares ended the morning session higher on Thursday after President Donald Trump’s upbeat comments on a possible US-China trade deal.

The Hang Seng Index added 0.2 percent, to 25,985.

But that investor confidence was absent on the mainland, where the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7 percent, to 2,933 while the Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 2.3 percent to 1,600.

Trump, in an appearance at the United Nations, said a deal with China was getting closer, sending Wall Street higher. The remarks came just a day after Trump railed against Chinese “abuses”, sending many Asian markets down.

“Investors have been ‘trade war’ bearish for so long that any sliver of optimism is cheered,” said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader.

“However, with definite signs of a trade thaw emerging that trade calm certainly trumped the impeachment probe as the S&P 500 halted a three-day slide, the dollar rallied, and yields on 10 U.S. Treasuries rose towards 1.75 percent.”

Tokyo rising 0.3 percent and Seoul up 0.4 percent.

On forex markets, the pound was little changed. The British currency had pulled back after it rallied on Tuesday on the belief that the odds of a no-deal Brexit had fallen. (AFP)

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Last updated: 2019-09-26 HKT 12:36