By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets were muted in early trading Monday despite Friday’s news that the U.S. and China have agreed on a “phase one” trade deal.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Sunday that the deal “is totally done, absolutely,” adding that China committed to buy $40 billion of American farm products over the next two years. and promised to end its long-standing practice of pressuring companies to hand over their technology as a condition of market access. China on Sunday said it would postpone punitive tariffs against U.S.-made autos and other goods following the trade agreement.
“For now, escalation seems to be off the table. However, the path to the comprehensive agreement is still miles away,” Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader wrote in a note Sunday. “Ultimately, [the] phase-one deal fell short of market expectations and is probably not enough to fully restore business confidence or generate a meaningful recovery in exports or investment.”
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.0099% was about flat, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.05% slipped 0.3%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.05% rose slightly, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +0.43% gained 0.8%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.22% was little changed, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 +0.02% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.09% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.59% inched up. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.58% jumped 1.6%.
Among individual stocks, Yahoo Japan parent Z Holdings /zigman2/quotes/207641152/delayed JP:4689 +3.18% gained in Tokyo trading, as did convenience-store chain FamilyMart and SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -2.56% . In Hong Kong, Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 0.00% and Galaxy Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/202884203/delayed HK:27 -0.74% rose, while AIA Group /zigman2/quotes/203565558/delayed HK:1299 -0.58% declined. Hyundai Motor /zigman2/quotes/206684590/delayed KR:005380 +0.77% fell in South Korea while BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +4.09% and Westpac /zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed AU:WBC -0.40% advanced in Australia.