By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets were muted in early trading Tuesday amid positive developments on the U.S.-China trade front.
President Donald Trump said Monday that trade negotiations on a “phase one” deal are going faster than expected, and said the deal would “take care of “ U.S. farmers and bankers. Later in the day, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said it is considering extending tariff exemptions that were approved last December on $34 billion in Chinese goods.
The news did not boost Chinese stocks though. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.59% slipped 0.3% after administrator Carrie Lam said the ongoing pro-democracy protests risked sending the city into recession, while the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.78% fell 0.4% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +1.15% retreated 0.3%. Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.92% rose 0.5% and South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.60% slipped 0.2%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -2.99% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.81% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -1.76% were up slightly. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.13% was little changed.
Among individual stocks, Mazda Motor /zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed JP:7261 +1.63% and Kobe Steel /zigman2/quotes/207391157/delayed JP:5406 -0.66% gained in Tokyo trading while Canon /zigman2/quotes/207639533/delayed JP:7751 -0.38% fell. In Hong Kong, food processor WH Group /zigman2/quotes/204247792/delayed HK:288 -0.59% surged while HSBC /zigman2/quotes/202687335/delayed HK:5 -0.41% and Tencent /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 +3.00% dropped. Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -0.62% inched down in South Korea, while BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +0.06% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO +0.49% gained in Australia.