By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets were mostly higher in early trading Wednesday, following gains on Wall Street after stocks started the week down on fears of an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday downplayed tensions, calling the situation a “little squabble” and stressing what a good relationship he has with China’s President Xi Jinping. But he also hinted at imposing 25% tariffs on another $325 billion of Chinese goods — essentially everything China exports to the U.S.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.18% was last about flat. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.74% rose 0.7% while the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.22% advanced about 1%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.05% advanced 0.6%, and Taiwan’s Taiex jumped 0.8%, while benchmark indexes in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.18% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.79% were about flat. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.63% rose 0.5%.
Among individual stocks, Nissan Motor /zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed JP:7201 -10.79% plunged after posting its worst fiscal-year earnings in 11 years Tuesday, and warned of more losses to come. Elsewhere in Tokyo trading, Takeda Pharmaceutical /zigman2/quotes/201302442/delayed JP:4502 +0.67% sank, as did Yahoo Japan /zigman2/quotes/207641152/delayed JP:4689 -2.00% . In Hong Kong, food processor WH Group /zigman2/quotes/204247792/delayed HK:288 +4.21% , which has been battered amid a swine fever outbreak, rose. Insurer AIA Group /zigman2/quotes/203565558/delayed HK:1299 -2.86% and oil producer CNOOC /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 -1.93% also gained. LG Electronics /zigman2/quotes/209966407/delayed KR:066570 +1.37% rose in South Korea, as did Taiwan Semiconductor /zigman2/quotes/207385621/delayed TW:2330 -0.68% in Taiwan. BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -1.48% advanced in Australia, along with Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -0.25% and Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT +1.25% .