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Asian markets mixed as U.S.-China trade deal needs more time

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Asian markets were mixed in early trading Thursday amid a report that there’s still a ways to go before the U.S. and China finalize a “phase one” limited trade deal.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said ongoing negotiations are hoped to be wrapped up and a deal signed next month, the South China Morning Post reported Thursday, but there has been no invitation from Chinese officials for further high-level talks in Beijing. The report said Mnuchin hopes President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping will sign an agreement at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile in mid-November. Mnuchin also said there was no plan yet on what to do about U.S. tariff hikes on $156 billion of Chinese goods scheduled to take effect in December.

Meanwhile, there was optimism in Europe that a Brexit agreement could be reached as soon as Thursday, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that negotiations were “in the final stretch.”

Japan’s Nikkei












NIK, +0.14%










  edged up 0.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index












HSI, +0.79%










  gained 0.9%. The Shanghai Composite












SHCOMP, +0.00%










  inched up 0.1% as the Shenzhen Composite












399106, +0.17%










  rose 0.2%. South Korea’s












180721, -0.18%










 etreated 0.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan












Y9999, +0.01%










 , Singapore












STI, -0.18%










 , Malaysia












FBMKLCI, -0.11%










  and Indonesia












JAKIDX, +0.29%










  were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200












XJO, -0.53%










  fell 0.4%.

Among individual stocks, e-commerce company Rakuten












4755, +2.37%










  gained in Tokyo trading, along with Sony












6758, +1.80%










  and SoftBank












9984, +1.32%










 . Property companies surged in Hong Kong, led by New World Development












17, +4.65%










 , Sun Hung Kai Properties












16, +2.78%










  and Henderson Land Development












12, +2.88%










 , after new government measures were announced to ease a housing shortage. Tech companies such as Samsung












005930, -0.99%










 , SK Hynix












000660, -1.58%










  and LG Electronics












066570, -1.99%










  fell in South Korea. BHP












BHP, -2.39%










  and Rio Tinto












RIO, -2.00%










  sank in Australia.

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