Asia report: Markets mixed with trade, North Korea in focus
Markets in Asia finished mixed on Tuesday, as traders remained concerned about the prospect of another mammoth round of tariffs in the ongoing trade spat between the United States and China.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.3% to 22,6464.69, as the yen weakened 0.26% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 111.42.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.18%, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite rose 0.17% to 1,409.34.
South Korea’s Kospi was 0.24% weaker at 2,283.20, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong slid 0.72% to 26,422.55.
Sentiment was still weak in the region thanks to the continuing trade battle between Washington and Beijing, as the US looked set to impose another round of punitive tariffs on at least $200bn of Chinese imports.
It was buoyed somewhat earlier in the day, however, after the White House said overnight that it was currently organising a second meeting between president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Oil prices were higher, with Brent crude last up 0.36% to $77.65 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate adding 0.19% to $67.67.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 pushed 0.62% higher to 6,179.70, with the hefty financials subindex managing gains of 0.85%.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 was up 2% to 9,225.57, led higher by specialist dairy exporter A2 Milk.
Both of the down under dollars were weaker on the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.38% at AUD 1.4110 and the Kiwi retreating 0.33% to NZD 1.5377.