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 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.52% 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 /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +2.28% rose 0.5%, and the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.55% — which fell more than 5% Monday — rebounded to close up 0.7% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +1.91% rose 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.27% fell 0.9%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.06% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.36% rose. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.05% 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 /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -0.97% and SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -0.94% advanced in Tokyo trading, while robotics maker Fanuc /zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed JP:6954 -1.02% and Fast Retailing /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 -0.87% fell. In Hong Kong, CNOOC /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 +0.15% and Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 +2.50% rose, while food processor WH Group /zigman2/quotes/204247792/delayed HK:288 +1.72% declined amid a deadly swine fever that is devastating China’s pork industry. Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -0.15% slipped in South Korea, and Foxconn /zigman2/quotes/204111604/delayed TW:2354 -0.86% rose in Taiwan. BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +0.54% and Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT +0.31% advanced in Australia.