Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Tuesday as U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a "comprehensive" document committing to work together to "build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula."

Aside from the summit, investors also awaited cues from three major central bank meetings this week.

While the U.S. Federal Reserve is almost certain to raise rates again when it meets on Wednesday, the European Central is likely to signal on Thursday that it will start to wind down its vast bond-buying program by the end of this year.

The Bank of Japan also concludes its two-day policy meeting on Friday, with analysts expecting no change to policy.

Chinese stocks ended higher, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite closing up 27.02 points or 0.89 percent at 3,079.80, snapping a three-session losing streak. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index inched up 0.13 percent to 31,103.06.

Japanese shares hit a three-week high after U.S. President Trump said he had "developed a very special bond" with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their historic summit.

The benchmark Nikkei gained 74.31 points or 0.33 percent to finish at 22,878.35, its highest level since May 22. The broader Topix index also rose by 0.33 percent to end at a three-week high of 1,792.82, led by railway operators and food companies.

Australian shares eked out modest gains in thin trade on cautious optimism over the historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 9.20 points or 0.15 percent to 6,054.40 as traders returned to their desks after the Queen's birthday public holiday. The broader All Ordinaries index inched up 8 points or 0.13 percent to end at 6,164.80.

Retail conglomerate Wesfarmers advanced 1.3 percent after it announced the completion of the sale of its U.K. Homebas. Healthcare and industrial stocks closed broadly higher, with CSL and Transurban Group climbing 1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Weaker iron ore and base metal prices pulled down mining stocks, with BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group, South32 and Rio Tinto ending down 1-2 percent.

Airline Virgin Australia jumped 2.3 percent on news that its chief executive John Borghetti will leave his role in 2020 after a decade at the company.

Seoul stocks finished marginally lower amid heavy selling by foreign investors as the Trump-Kim meeting got underway. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics and chipmaker SK Hynix dropped around 1 percent each.

New Zealand shares recouped early losses to end on a flat note. The benchmark
S&P/NZX 50 index finished marginally lower at 8,958.81, dragged down by consumer staple stocks.

India's Sensex was rising half a percent while benchmark indexes in Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan were down between 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent.

Malaysia's unemployment rate held steady in April, figures from the Department of Statistics showed today. The jobless rate came in at 3.3 percent in April, the same rate as in March.

Overnight, U.S. stocks finished slightly higher as investors shrugged off concerns over a tumultuous G-7 meeting over the weekend and looked ahead to the historic Trump-Kim summit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up marginally and the S&P 500 edged up 0.1 percent to reach their best closing levels in three months while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2 percent.

by P2PNews Staff Writer

editorial@p2pnews.com

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