By Associated Press
Share prices were mixed Thursday in moderate trading in Asia after the U.S. and China signed a preliminary trade agreement that investors hope will bring better relations between the two biggest economies.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.18% was flat Thursday at 23,925.70, while the Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.05% in South Korea added 0.2% to 2,236.01. Shares fell in China, with the Shanghai Composite index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.22% giving up 0.3% to 3,081.38. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.74% edged 0.1% lower, to 28,752.32.
In Australia, the S&P ASX/200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.63% climbed 0.5% to 7,032.60 to a fresh new high, on optimism over the trade deal.
President Donald Trump and China’s chief negotiator, Liu He, signed the “Phase 1” deal on Wednesday before a group of corporate executives and reporters at the White House. The pact eases some sanctions on China. In return, Beijing has agreed to step up its purchases of U.S. farm products and other goods.
“This was telegraphed well enough that the market is kind of looking through it and toward the next phase and what that means,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.
The agreement helped propel the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.07% closed above 29,000 points for the first time and the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.48% hit its second record high in three days Wednesday.
The deal done, traders will likely shift their attention elsewhere for now. But skepticism over the long-term prospects for resolving key issues remains, analysts said.
“Despite some negative spin-doctoring this morning, it’s hard to argue that the deal marks a significant step in ending the frictions that have cast a dark cloud over global economic growth,” Stephen Innes of AxiTrader said in a commentary.
The S&P 500 index rose 0.2% to 3,289.29. The index also climbed to an all-time high on Monday. The Dow gained 0.3% to 29,030.22. The Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +1.29% added 0.1%, to 9,258.70. Smaller-company stocks fared better than the rest of the market.
Health-care stocks accounted for much of the market’s gains. Utilities and makers of household goods also rose. Those gains outweighed losses in financial stocks, companies that rely on consumer spending and the energy sector.