Asian Shares Mixed In Cautious Trading

Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as weak global manufacturing data rekindled worries on slowing growth and the U.S. proposed new tariffs on European goods as part of a continuing dispute over aircraft subsidies.

Chinese shares ended little changed after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that trade talks with China have “already begun” but any deal would need to be somewhat tilted in Washington’s favor.

Hong Kong shares rose sharply as markets reopened after a holiday on Monday. The Hang Seng Index rallied 332.94 points or 1.2 percent to 28,875.56 despite protesters storming and vandalizing the legislative building in the city.

Japanese shares finished marginally higher on skepticism over whether the United States and China can reach a deal to end their bitter trade dispute.

The Nikkei 225 Index inched up 24.30 points or 0.1 percent to 21,754.27 after rallying more than two percent the previous day. The broader Topix closed 0.3 percent higher at 1,589.84.

Exporters rose broadly on a slightly weaker yen. Tech stocks also continued to gain, with Tokyo Electron climbing 3 percent and Advantest rising 0.8 percent. Oil company Inpex Corp declined 1.2 percent and Japan Petroleum eased 0.4 percent.

Australian markets gave up early gains to end on a flat note as the country’s central bank lowered the cash rate to a fresh low of 1 percent, as widely expected.

“This easing of monetary policy will support employment growth and provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent with the medium-term target,” the bank said in a statement.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index inched up 5.10 points or 0.1 percent to 6,653.20, while the broader All Ordinaries Index edged up 9.70 points or 0.1 percent to 6,741.10.

Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto climbed 0.9 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, after iron ore prices reached a record high on Monday. Healthcare stocks such as CSL, Cochlear and Resmed gained between 0.7 percent and 1 percent.

The big four banks fell over 1 percent each as the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy statement didn’t indicate a drastic dovish turn.

Afterpay Touch soared 6.9 percent after the payments platform operator appointed Anthony Eisen as its chief executive and managing director.

Vitamin and supplement maker Blackmores rallied 2.1 percent as it appointed former Nestle, Gillette and P&G executive Alastair Symington as its new chief executive and managing director.

Meanwhile, Seoul stocks closed lower on economic concerns after Japan moved to cut off materials vital to South Korea’s all-important tech industry. The Kospi slid 7.72 points or 0.4 percent to 2,122.02.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.8 percent, pharmaceutical firm Celltrion declined 1.4 percent, chemical firm LG Chem slumped 1.8 percent and automaker Hyundai Motor lost 2.8 percent.

New Zealand stocks touched a record high before ending off their day’s highs. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index closed up 67.41 points or 0.6 percent at 10,531.94, led by utilities and consumer staple stocks. China-exposed A2 Milk rose nearly 2 percent.

The total number of building permits issued in New Zealand in May surged a seasonally adjusted 13.2 percent in May, Statistics New Zealand said in a report – standing at 3,687. That follows the 8.0 percent contraction in April.

U.S. stocks rose overnight after President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to restart stalled trade negotiations.

The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to finish at a record closing high, while the Dow rose 0.4 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged up 1.1 percent.

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