Hong Kong CNN Business  — 

Asian stocks advanced Monday, boosted by positive signals about a potential US-China trade deal.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSI) Index opened up 1.1% and widened the gains to 1.9% in early trading. It’s the top performer so far among major indexes in the region.

Investors may also be paying attention to election results in Hong Kong. Pro-democracy candidates appear to have made major gains in the city’s District Council elections. The elections have been framed as a de facto referendum on the almost six months of ongoing protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Meanwhile, South Korea’sKospi index gained 1.2%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 (N225) also rose 0.9%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index improved 0.7%.

On Friday, President Donald Trump told Fox News that the United States and China were “potentially very close” to reaching a deal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also said Friday in Beijing that he wanted to work out an agreement based on “mutual respect and equality,” according to news reports.

The Chinese government on Sunday calling for stronger protections of intellectual property rights. That kind of action, though, would address a key concern by the United States as the two countries negotiate a trade deal.

US futures rose during Asian trading hours Monday following a higher close at the end of last week. Futures for the Dow (INDU), S&P (SPX) 500 and Nasdaq (COMP) were up between 0.2% and 0.4%.