Asian shares were higher in muted trading Wednesday as investors awaited the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225

NIK, +0.50%

  added 0.5% in early trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, +0.36%

  gained 0.3% and South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, +0.37%

  edged up nearly 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng

HSI, -0.05%

  added 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite index

SHCOMP, +0.42%

  gained 0.9%.

Among individual stocks, Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing

9983, +2.67%

  jumped in Tokyo trading, along with Rakuten

4755, +3.18%

  and Takeda Pharmeceutical

4502, +2.08%

 . In Hong Kong, AIA Group

1299, +1.65%

  and Sands China

1928, +1.02%

  were among the biggest gainers, while Apple

AAPL, +0.06%

  suppliers AAC

2018, -4.95%

  and Sunny Optical

2382, -2.55%

  sank. Hyundai Motor

005387, +4.61%

  spiked in Korean trading after the auto maker spurned a dividend-payout call by activist investor Elliott Management. Beach Energy

BPT, +1.47%

  shares rose in Australia.

Kim and Trump both arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday and their Hanoi meetings get underway later in the day Wednesday. The two leaders first met last June in Singapore, a summit that was long on historic pageantry but short in any enforceable agreements for North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal.

Trump and Kim are to have a private dinner Wednesday evening and discussions on Thursday in hopes of building on an aspirational agreement they made in Singapore.

U.S. stock indexes capped a day of wobbly trading with slight losses Tuesday, erasing some of their modest gains from a day earlier. The market changed course several times during the day as investors balanced conflicting U.S. economic data and testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The Fed chief told Congress that the U.S. economy should keep expanding at a solid, though somewhat slower pace this year, and reassured markets that the central bank would be “patient” in raising interest rates. Those comments, which indicate steady policy ahead, cheered sentiments among Asian markets.

The S&P 500

SPX, -0.08%

  dropped 2.21 points, or 0.1%, to 2,793.90. The benchmark index, which has finished higher the past four weeks in a row, broke a two-day winning streak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -0.13%

  fell 33.97 points, or 0.1%, to 26,057.98. The Nasdaq composite

COMP, -0.07%

  slid 5.16 points, or 0.1%, to 7,549.30.

U.S. benchmark crude

CLJ9, +0.54%

  added 52 cents to $56.02 a barrel. It was essentially flat at $55.50 a barrel in New York overnight. Brent crude

LCOJ9, +0.26%

 , used to price international oils, 34 cents to $65.70 a barrel in London.

The dollar

USDJPY, -0.16%

  declined to 110.57 yen from 110.86 yen

Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.

Source link