Asian markets were muted in early trading Monday despite Friday’s news that the U.S. and China have agreed on a “phase one” trade deal.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Sunday that the deal “is totally done, absolutely,” adding that China committed to buy $40 billion of American farm products over the next two years. and promised to end its long-standing practice of pressuring companies to hand over their technology as a condition of market access. China on Sunday said it would postpone punitive tariffs against U.S.-made autos and other goods following the trade agreement.

“For now, escalation seems to be off the table. However, the path to the comprehensive agreement is still miles away,” Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader wrote in a note Sunday. “Ultimately, [the] phase-one deal fell short of market expectations and is probably not enough to fully restore business confidence or generate a meaningful recovery in exports or investment.”

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, -0.02%

  was about flat, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, -0.37%

  slipped 0.3%. The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, +0.06%

  rose slightly, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite

399106, +0.82%

  gained 0.8%. South Korea’s Kospi

180721, -0.08%

  was little changed, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, +0.22%

 , Singapore

STI, +0.02%

  and Indonesia

JAKIDX, +0.35%

  inched up. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, +1.79%

  jumped 1.6%.

Among individual stocks, Yahoo Japan parent Z Holdings

4689, +2.49%

  gained in Tokyo trading, as did convenience-store chain FamilyMart

8028, +2.06%

  and SoftBank

9984, +2.10%

 . In Hong Kong, Sunny Optical

2382, +1.61%

  and Galaxy Entertainment

27, +1.04%

  rose, while AIA Group

1299, -1.39%

  declined. Hyundai Motor

005380, -1.65%

  fell in South Korea while BHP

BHP, +1.88%

  and Westpac

WBC, +1.65%

  advanced in Australia.

Source link

2019-12-15