Hong Kong CNN Business  — 

Asian markets were cautiously optimistic on Thursday, as President Donald Trump’s latest remarks on US-China trade talks sent a flicker of hope through the region.

South Korea’s Kospi advanced around 1%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 (N225) edged up about 0.3%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSI) gained as much as 0.9%. China’s Shanghai Composite added around 0.2%.

Markets have been see-sawing this week, mostly reacting to developments in US-China trade talks.

Friday’s boost was powered in part by remarks from Trump, who on Thursday said the United States and China are “moving along” on a near-term trade deal. Asked whether Washington will go ahead with additional tariffs in less than two weeks, the president told reporters, “We are not discussing that.”

Trump’s relatively upbeat remarks – two days earlier he said he had “no deadline” on a deal – came after China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday that the trade negotiating teams “have been keeping close communications.”

“Asia will continue its safety dance today, likely to be joined by Europe, as global markets await” US payroll data later in the day, Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda, wrote in a note on Thursday.

Over in Japan, investors had a muted reaction to the 13.2 trillion yen ($120 billion) stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday. The package includes measures such as reconstruction efforts following natural disasters, fending off the risk of an economic slowdown, and investment to sustain economic activity after the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

Japan’s government said the package is expected to push economic growth up by 1.4%.