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HONG KONG, H.K. – Asian stocks traded moderately higher early on the trading session on Monday morning as market player awaits the district council election in Hong Kong amid the ongoing civil unrest in the city that has been going on for several months now.

The Asian stock market started the first day of the trading week on more positive sentiments with Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rising up to 0.79% early Monday morning, increasing shares on index heavyweights Fanuc, Softbank Group, and Fast Retailing.

The Kospi index in South Korea also started with a significant 0.93% increase, powered up by the 1% gain each for both the industry heavyweight chipmaker SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics.

Also, Australian stocks are in on the upward trend in the Asian market, with the S&P/ASX 200 index edging higher in the morning trade with 0.6% gains.

On the other hand, the shares of Westpac weren’t as optimistic, tracking a decline of around 1% in morning trade. The decrease in shares came after the embattled lender declared its response plan during the weekend after it previously received a civil penalty order filed by the anti-money-laundering and terrorism financing official in Australia last week. The penalty order against the firm is based on allegations of Westpac’s deficient oversight on banking and other designated services that are provided using its related banking relationships.

Based on the response plan announced by Westpac, included on their list of actions is to close an international funds transfer system immediately and propping up its efforts towards financial crime monitoring.

Overall in the Asian market, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index edged a bit higher early trading up to 0.27%.

Amid the positive sentiments in Asian stocks early morning, the majority of investors still awaits on how Hong Kong’s district council elections will affect the market following the landslide victory of pro-democracy candidates after a record voter turnout.

The recent updates on Hong Kong elections came after the civil unrest in the city, which has been going on for several months and turning into violence, which has further affected the stock market.

On forex, the Japanese yen is currently trading a bit lower against the dollar at 108.71 from its 108.9 previously. On the other hand, The Australian dollar is looking more positive as it inched higher from $0.682, the previous trading to its current $0.6793 value.

It comes after the increasing doubts about the trade deal between the US and China. The two major economies in the world are unlikely to strike phase two of the trade negotiations soon as they still have yet to resolve phase one.

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