Asian shares were mostly higher Monday amid a wait-and-see attitude about the direction of interest rates and the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225
gained 0.1% in morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
lost 0.s%, while South Korea’s Kospi
edged up nearly 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng
gained 0.9% as tensions appeared to ease despite another massive protest Sunday, while the Shanghai Composite
was up 0.2%. Taiwan’s Taiex
edged up, while benchmark indexes in Singapore
Among individual stocks, Rakuten
advanced in Tokyo trading, while semiconductor-equipment maker Advantest
sank. In Hong Kong, property companies, such as Wharf Real Estate Investment
and New World Development
, rose along with Sunny Optical
and oil producer CNOOC
inched up in South Korea, while Taiwan Semiconductor
retreated in Taiwan. Beach Energy
and Rio Tinto
fell in Australia.
On Wall Street, stocks ended a choppy week of trading with modest losses.
The S&P 500 index
fell 4.66 points, or 0.2%, to 2,886.98 Friday and ended the week with a slim gain of 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
dropped 17.16 points, or 0.1%, to 26,089.61. The Nasdaq composite
slid 40.47 points, or 0.5%, to 7,796.66.
Earlier this month, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell set off a market rally after he signaled that the central bank is willing to cut interest rates to help stabilize the economy if the trade war between Washington and Beijing starts to slow economic growth.
The Fed holds its next meeting of policyholders this week, but no action on rates is expected.
Economists expect Fed officials to wait until the second week of July to indicate whether they intend to cut rates, after seeing the next government report on the jobs market and other economic data.
Market watchers are also closely watching the results of the G-20 summit in late June, where President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could meet and try to negotiate a deal on trade.
“Sentiments around the ability to achieve a positive turn in U.S.-China trade negotiations, should the Trump-Xi meeting materialize at the sidelines of the G-20, remain tentative,” says Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in Singapore.
“And the G-20 itself is merely a stage to kick the can down the road and a long, long way off a complete retraction of global trade tensions.”
Benchmark crude oil
added 15 cents to $52.66 a barrel. It rose 0.4% to settle at $52.51 a barrel Friday. Brent crude oil
, the international standard, added 29 cents to $62.30 a barrel.
rose to 108.57 Japanese yen from 108.23 yen on Friday.