Tokyo — Asian stocks advanced to four-and-a-half-month highs on Wednesday as investors bet that Chinese and US trade negotiators would be able to secure a deal to de-escalate their year-long tariff war. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose nearly 1% to reach its highest levels since October 2. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1% to six-month highs, while Korea’s Kospi and Taiwan's index recovered to levels last seen in early October. Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.75% to two-month highs. Chinese shares rose 0.4%, extending their run of gains to 18% from their January 4 trough, thanks to inflows of foreign funds. The gains in Asia topped those in Tuesday’s Wall Street session, where the S&P 500 gained 0.15%, helped by upbeat results from Walmart. The Nasdaq rose 0.19%, logging its seventh consecutive session of gains. US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that trade talks with China were going well and suggested he was open to pushing off the deadline to complet...

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