Asian markets sought direction in early trading Tuesday, as traders awaited the next development in U.S.-China trade talks and violent protests continued in Hong Kong.
President Donald Trump said over the weekend that while trade talks were going “very nicely,” there was not yet an agreement to roll back tariffs. On Monday, Politico reported that Trump was likely this week to extend the deadline on whether to impose tariffs up to 25% against European auto imports.
Hong Kong’s leader on Monday suggested police would take harsher measures to control protests, after a particularly violent day Monday, in which police shot one demonstrators and another man was set on fire. Protests continued Tuesday, with pro-democracy demonstrators blocking streets and subway entrances for the morning commute.
“Investors could remain skittish ahead of President Trump’s appearance at the New York Economic Club on Tuesday,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrade, in a note Monday. “This speech could be the main event this week, especially if the president dangles any tangible details about his upcoming meeting with President Xi of China.”
edged up 0.2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
, which tumbled 2.5% on Monday, was about flat. The Shanghai Composite
fell 0.4% while the Shenzhen Composite
retreated 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi
inched up 0.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan
were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
Among individual stocks, convenience-store chain FamilyMart
gained in Tokyo trading, while SoftBank
and Japan Steel Works
fell. In Hong Kong, Country Garden
rose, while Wharf Real Estate
and Sunny Optical
advanced in South Korea and Taiwan Semiconductor
rose in Taiwan. Qantas
and Virgin Australia
gained in Australia.