Asian markets were mixed in subdued early trading Monday, ahead of the signing of a “phase one” trade deal between the U.S. and China later this week.
The world’s two largest economic powers are scheduled to sign the phase-one deal Wednesday in Washington, with China reportedly agreeing to buy more U.S. agricultural products and implementing economic reforms, and some tariff relief coming from the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that the U.S. and China have also agreed to hold semiannual talks to discuss and resolve points of dispute.
“It’s unlikely there will be an exceptional level of excitement in the market as the agreement has been extensively telegraphed, although President Trump will likely herald the deal in with much fanfare,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist for AxiTrader, in a note Sunday. “Provided the deal inks a commitment from China to increase agricultural products and outlines a dependable enforcement mechanism, the market will go merrily along the way.”
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
rose 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite
was about flat and the Shenzhen Composite
advanced 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi
gained 0.6% while benchmark indexes in Taiwan
were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
fell 0.5%. Japan’s Nikkei was closed for a holiday.
Among individual stocks, Apple component makers Sunny Optical
rose in Hong Kong trading, along with Sun Hung Kai Properties
and Bank of China
. Hyundai Motor
advanced in South Korea, while BHP
and Oil Search
fell in Australia.
Stocks ended lower Friday, after the Dow briefly topped the 29,000 milestone, with investor euphoria over recent record highs deflated by data showing slower-than-expected U.S. jobs and wage growth in December. The S&P 500 index
fell 0.3% to 3,265.35 from its record set Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
briefly topped the 29,000 level for the first time but ended down 0.5%. The Nasdaq composite
dropped 0.3%, to 9,178.86.
Benchmark U.S. crude
gained 1 cent to $59.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 52 cents on Friday to close at $59.04. Brent crude
, used to price international oils, retreated 6 cents to $64.92 per barrel in London. It declined 39 cents the previous session to $64.98.
gained to 109.62 yen from Friday’s 109.46 yen.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.