Asian markets were mixed in early trading Friday, with stocks in Hong Kong and mainland China retreating amid ongoing trade tensions with the U.S.
An executive order by the Trump administration, aimed at banning Huawei equipment from U.S. networks, took effect on Thursday. The order also subjects the Chinese telecommunications giant to strict export controls. China has threatened to retaliate. It remains to be seen how the move will affect trade negotiations.
On Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry said it had no knowledge of a resumption in trade talks, according to the Wall Street Journal, contradicting U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who said Wednesday that negotiations were likely to resume in Beijing “in the near future.”
A spokesman for the Commerce Ministry said this week’s escalation of tariffs on Chinese goods has “severely hampered” negotiations, the Journal reported.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
slipped 0.9%, and the Shanghai Composite
fell 1.6%. Japan’s Nikkei
rose 1.6%, and South Korea’s Kospi
gained 0.3%. Taiwan’s Taiex
gave up early gains, and stocks declined in Singapore
. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
Among individual stocks, Sony
surged in Tokyo trading after announcing it would buy back $1.83 billion of its own stock. Earlier in the day, Sony also announced a partnership with Microsoft
for artificial intelligence and direct-to-consumer entertainment. SoftBank Group
also rose. In Hong Kong, China Mobile
gained while Sunny Optical
and food processor WH Group
declined. Chip maker SK Hynix
advanced in South Korea. In Australia, Rio Tinto
and Beach Energy
Some investors took cues from Wall Street, which closed higher for the third straight day, led by strong performances from technology companies and banks.
The broad S&P 500 index
climbed 0.9% to 2,876.32 on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 0.8% to 25,862.68 and the Nasdaq composite
rebounded 1% to 7,898.05.
“The street appears to have temporarily given up trying to predict the fluid situation that is U.S.-China trade relations and concentrate on the here and now,” Jeffrey Halley of OANDA said in a commentary.
“The march higher will be tentative at best though with sentiment both incredibly cautious and fragile,” he added.
Benchmark U.S. crude
gained 45 cents to $63.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 85 cents to $62.87 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude
, the international standard, added 39 cents to $73.01 per barrel.
edged up to 109.86 Japanese yen from 109.85 yen late Thursday.
Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.