By Associated Press and Marketwatch
Nikkei about flat; Hang Seng rises after latest massive protest
Asian shares had a mixed session Monday amid a wait-and-see attitude about the direction of interest rates and the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.4% as tensions appeared to ease despite another massive protest Sunday, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.2%. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was flat in morning trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.4%, while South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.2%. Taiwan's Taiex was flat, while benchmark indexes in Singapore slipped 0.2% and Indonesia fell 1%.
Among individual stocks, Rakuten , Sony and SoftBank 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 . Samsung 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.
The dollar rose to 108.60 Japanese yen from 108.23 yen on Friday.