(Dec 5): Stocks in Asia opened higher Thursday after a report the US and China are getting closer to a deal that would avoid tariffs due to kick in later this month. Treasury yields stabilised after gains.

Shares opened higher in Sydney, Tokyo and Seoul, while equity futures in Hong Kong were higher after the S&P 500 Index climbed overnight. News that negotiators are nearing an agreement on the amount of tariff relief in a phase-one US-China accord helped risk assets after concerns earlier in the week when President Donald Trump downplayed the urgency of a deal. New Zealand’s dollar edged up after the country’s largest lenders were told to increase capital buffers.

The US expects a deal with China to be completed before the next tranche of American tariffs are due to kick in on Dec 15, according to people familiar with the talks. Trump said Wednesday discussions with China are going very well.

“If we do just muddle along and there aren’t the tariff increases on December 15 we’ll probably see something of a stable stock-market environment,” Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco, told Bloomberg TV. Any negative trade news “could be the spoiler for what otherwise would be a fairly solid month for stocks.”

Elsewhere, oil preserved a rally after Energy Information Administration data showed US crude inventories fell more than expected. The pound was near a seven-month high against the dollar as traders stepped up bets for a Conservative victory in next week’s election.