Hong Kong stocks ended slightly up on Monday, boosted by upbeat comments by China’s top negotiator on progress in trade talks with the United States while the British currency bounced back.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.1 percent, to 26,740.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index finished 0.1 percent higher, to close at 2,939 while the Shenzhen Composite Index ended 0.1 percent lower, at 1,614.

Tokyo 0.3 percent higher, with Singapore climbing 0.8 percent and Seoul up 0.2 percent. Taipei and Jakarta also rose. But Manila, Bangkok and Wellington were in the red.

The pound hit a five-month peak above US$1.30 Monday on renewed Brexit optimism after Prime Minister Boris Johnson requested another extension to Britain’s scheduled departure from the European Union.

At about 4.30pm Hong Kong time, the pound reached the highest level since May at US$1.3012, up from US$1.2984 in New York while the euro steadied at about 86 pence. In the local market, the sterling traded at HK$10.18.

“Markets [are] starting to price in a best case scenario in terms of the deal getting passed this week and then a short extension to pass any necessary legislation,” CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson. (AFP)