By Marketwatch and Associated Press
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 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.71% edged up 0.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.04% gained 0.9%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.71% inched up 0.1% as the Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -0.42% rose 0.2%. South Korea’s /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.52% etreated 0.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 +0.29% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.33% , Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI -0.36% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.18% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.89% fell 0.4%.
Among individual stocks, e-commerce company Rakuten /zigman2/quotes/201861450/delayed JP:4755 -1.40% gained in Tokyo trading, along with Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -1.55% and SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -3.60% . Property companies surged in Hong Kong, led by New World Development /zigman2/quotes/202357413/delayed HK:17 -0.51% , Sun Hung Kai Properties /zigman2/quotes/209086152/delayed HK:16 +0.78% and Henderson Land Development /zigman2/quotes/208724890/delayed HK:12 -0.68% , after new government measures were announced to ease a housing shortage. Tech companies such as Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -1.40% , SK Hynix /zigman2/quotes/206420319/delayed KR:000660 -1.23% and LG Electronics /zigman2/quotes/209966407/delayed KR:066570 -0.39% fell in South Korea. BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -0.49% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -1.32% sank in Australia.