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ASIA MARKETS: Asian Markets Cautious Amid Lingering Trade Tensions

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05/22/2019 | 08:47am EDT

By Marketwatch and Associated Press

Nikkei finishes flat, China stocks lower

Asian stock markets traded mostly mixed Wednesday, as lingering trade tensions weighed on traders.

China's ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, said Tuesday on Fox News that "the door is still open" to resuming trade negotiations with the U.S., although no new talks are scheduled. Tensions have ramped up over the past week, though were tempered slightly Monday by reports that the Trump administration will offer 90-day exemptions for some U.S. companies doing business with Huawei Technologies.

However, a fresh wrinkle in the trade saga may have opened after reports the White House may add a handful of Chinese video surveillance firms (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-22/trump-weighs-blacklisting-two-chinese-surveillance-companies?srnd=premium-europe) to a list of blacklisted companies from the country. Shares of Hangzhou HIK Vision Digital (002415.SZ) fell over 5%, and China's main stock index eased back.

Japan's Nikkei finished flat after data showed exports fell for a fifth straight month in April. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 0.1%, while the Shanghai Composite closed down 0.5% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite saw a similar loss. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan , Singapore and Indonesia mostly posted losses. From Jakarta came reports of riots, injuries and deaths after supporters of a presidential candidate who lost a Tuesday election clashed with security forces

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.2%.

Among individual stocks, SoftBank Group rose in Tokyo trading while Suzuki Motor tumbled. In Hong Kong, casino operator Sands China gained while China Mobile slipped. SK Hynix slid in South Korea while chip-making rival Taiwan Semiconductor jumped in Taiwan. Westpac gained but Fortescue Metals fell in Australia.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CHINA MOBILE LTD. 0.83% 66.8 End-of-day quote.-10.28%
CHINA-SHANGHAI COMP 0.49% 2897.43 End-of-day quote.16.00%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED 2.85% 7.57 End-of-day quote.80.67%
HANG SENG 0.52% 26190.11 Real-time Quote.1.33%
HANGZHOU HIKVISION DIGITAL TECHGY CO LTD End-of-day quote.
KOSPI COMPOSITE INDEX -0.19% 1952.81 Real-time Quote.-4.34%
NIKKEI 225 0.40% 20710.91 Real-time Quote.3.31%
S&P/ASX 200 0.33% 6523.1 Real-time Quote.15.91%
SANDS CHINA LTD. 0.00% 36.05 End-of-day quote.4.49%
SK HYNIX INC End-of-day quote.
SOFTBANK GROUP CORP -0.15% 4738 End-of-day quote.-32.36%
SUZUKI MOTOR CORP 0.68% 3986 End-of-day quote.-25.73%
TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MFG. CO. LTD. End-of-day quote.
WESTPAC BANKING CORP 0.22% 27.81 End-of-day quote.11.06%
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