By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets gained slightly in muted early trading Tuesday, after stocks closed higher on Wall Street to kick off a busy earnings week.
Investors were also encouraged by trade developments, after the South China Morning Post reported U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would travel to Beijing next week for renewed trade negotiations with China. Later Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported President Donald Trump had agreed to make “timely” licensing decisions for U.S. tech companies seeking to renew sales with Huawei Technologies Co.
Japan’s Nikkei (NIKKEI:JP:NIK) rose 0.9% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HONG:HK:HSI) edged up 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite (SHG:CN:SHCOMP) was up 0.1% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite (SHENHZEN:CN:399106) advanced 0.4%. Shanghai’s new STAR market declined following a big pop in its debut Monday. South Korea’s Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721) rose 0.5%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan (TAIWAN:TW:Y9999) , Singapore (SES:SG:STI) and Indonesia (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX) barely moved. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO) advanced 0.4%.
Among individual stocks, SoftBank (TKS:JP:9984) surged in Tokyo trading, along with oil-and-gas engineering company Chiyoda (TKS:JP:6366) and chip maker Tokyo Electron (TKS:JP:8035) . In Hong Kong, tech-component makers Sunny Optical (HKG:HK:2382) and AAC (HKG:HK:2018) rose, while property company Country Garden (HKG:HK:2007) fell. Chip maker SK Hynix (KRX:KR:000660) jumped in South Korea after an endorsement by Goldman Sachs over the weekend, while, Hyundai Motor (KRX:KR:005380) sank after missing quarterly earnings expectations despite a big jump in profit. In Australia, Oil Search gained while Fortescue Metals (ASX:AU:FMG) fell.