Asian stock markets finished mostly higher Tuesday, with the exception of Japan and Korean equities, as traders weighed the latest development in the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Monday that China was “reneging” on its commitments after months of trade negotiations, and that the U.S. would follow through with President Donald Trump’s threats and raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10% on Friday. But hopes of an imminent trade deal remained, as China is still expected to send a delegation to Washington this week for what could be a final round of talks, starting Thursday — a day later than originally planned.
The escalating trade tensions sent Asian markets plunging Monday, and Wall Street started the day similarly, but rebounded and ended the trading day with just slight losses.
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -1.76% fell 1.6% as it resumed trading after a 10-day national holiday for the installation of a new emperor. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.70% rose 0.5%, and the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.11% — which fell more than 5% Monday — rebounded to close up 0.7% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +0.77% rose 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.25% fell 0.9%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, -0.64% , Singapore STI, -0.95% and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.65% rose. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.50% gained 0.1%.
In Asia, indexes performed better after China’s Commerce Ministry said Vice Premier Liu He will visit Washington to continue trade talks on Thursday and Friday. The move comes after initial reports suggested the talks could be delayed or canceled altogether. Gains for Asia came despite indications U.S. stocks were in for another losing session, with stock futures lower.
Among individual stocks, Sony 6758, -0.67% and SoftBank 9984, -1.05% advanced in Tokyo trading, while robotics maker Fanuc 6954, -2.26% and Fast Retailing 9983, +0.81% fell. In Hong Kong, CNOOC 0883, -1.15% and Sunny Optical 2382, -0.38% rose, while food processor WH Group 0288, -1.20% declined amid a deadly swine fever that is devastating China’s pork industry. Samsung 005930, -0.89% slipped in South Korea, and Foxconn 2354, -2.02% rose in Taiwan. BHP BHP, -0.97% and Beach Energy BPT, -1.74% advanced in Australia.
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