Asian markets were mixed in early trading Monday, following a better-than-expected U.S. GDP report on Friday and ahead of a new round of U.S.-China trade talks.
On Friday, data showed the U.S. economy grew 3.2% in the first quarter, higher than analysts’ expectations. That was thanks in part to the stockpiling of goods, although it was not immediately clear how, since data showed both domestic production and imports fell in the first three months of the year.
U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead a U.S. delegation to China on Tuesday to resume trade negotiations. Those will be followed by talks in Washington starting May 8. There have been reports that negotiations are in their final stage, and a final deal may be signed in late May or early June, putting an end to the yearlong tariff war between the world’s two largest economies.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
was up 0.8%, while the Shanghai
gave up slight early gains to fall about 0.3%. China’s smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
sank 1.5%. South Korea’s Kospi
gained 0.7%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan
were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
declined about 0.4%. Japan’s Nikkei was closed amid a 10-day national holiday to celebrate the ascension of Crown Prince Naruhito, who will become emperor May 1.
Among individual stocks, casino operator Sands China
and property developer Country Garden
advanced in Hong Kong, while Apple
supplier AAC Technologies
gained in South Korea, as did Hyundai Motor
. Beach Energy
and Oil Search
fell in Australia.
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