New Zealand's NZX-50 index crept closer towards a fresh high as President Donald Trump said Monday morning (NZT) he will extend a deadline to escalate tariffs on Chinese imports.

That buoyed markets around the world.

The NZX-50 closed up 0.38 per cent to 9345 points. At peak last September it was at 9375.

Asian stocks climbed with US futures and the Chinese currency - the yuan - rose.

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By 5pm (NZT) the Shanghai Composite Index had gained 2.4 per cent to 2,871.27 points and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 0.7 per cent to 21,572.11. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 10 points to 28,832.75.

Global markets - including the NZX - fell sharply in the last quarter 0f 2018 but have rebounded this year on the promise of less rate hikes by the US Federal reserve and now progress on the trade stand-off.

Trump tweeted that there had been "productive talks" on some of the difficult issues dividing the US and China, adding that "I will be delaying the US increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1."

Trump said that if negotiations progress, he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida resort to finalise an agreement.

US and Chinese negotiators met through the weekend as they seek to resolve a trade war that's rattled financial markets.

In New Zealand Freightways and Chorus both gained after delivering earnings in line with expectations.

Synlait Milk jumped ahead of this week's dairy auction and a potential hike in the farmgate milk price.

Freightways up 1.2 per cent at $7.90 after the courier and information management firm lifted first-half profit 6 per cent.

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The company said the New Zealand and Australian markets remained positive, however, it was keeping close tabs on domestic economic activity for signs of a downturn.

Meanwhile, Chorus reported a 3.3 per cent decline in underlying earnings as copper-line customers converted to fibre products on other local fibre companies.

The network operator's targeting a return to earnings growth in the 2020 financial year.

The shares increased 0.3 per cent to $5.22.

- Agencies