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
slipped 0.3% after administrator Carrie Lam said the ongoing pro-democracy protests risked sending the city into recession, while the Shanghai Composite
fell 0.4% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
retreated 0.3%. Japan’s Nikkei
rose 0.5% and South Korea’s Kospi
slipped 0.2%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan
were up slightly. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
was little changed.
Among individual stocks, Mazda Motor
and Kobe Steel
gained in Tokyo trading while Canon
fell. In Hong Kong, food processor WH Group
surged while HSBC
inched down in South Korea, while BHP
and Rio Tinto
gained in Australia.