Asian Shares Recover From Early Slide

Asian stocks fluctuated before finishing mostly higher on Tuesday after White House trade advisor Peter Navarro clarified that the U.S.-China trade deal remains in place and that his earlier comments had been taken out of context.

Chinese shares recovered from a weak start to end higher as investors were reassured by U.S. President Trump’s assertion that the trade deal between China and the United States remains intact.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 5.35 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,970.62, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 396.00 points, or 1.6 percent, to 24,907.34.

Japanese shares advanced as tech shares followed their U.S. peers higher following Apple’s announcement that it plans to build its own chips for its Mac computers.

The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 111.78 points, or 0.5 percent, to 22,549.05, while the broader Topix closed 0.5 percent higher at 1,587.14.

Tokyo Electron gained 1.8 percent, Advantest added 1.5 percent and Screen Holdings rose 0.6 percent. Automakers Honda Motor, Toyota, Mazda Motor and Nissan gained 1-2 percent.

The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to contract in June, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed today with a manufacturing PMI score of 28.9, down from 30.3 in May.

Individually, output, new orders, new export orders, employment, backlogs, output prices, input prices and future output all continued to contract.

Japan’s services PMI came in at 42.3 in June, up from 26.5 in the previous month. The composite index had a score of 27.8, down from 37.9 a month earlier.

Australian markets fluctuated before finishing modestly higher after a survey showed Australia’s private sector rebounded in June, reflecting the loosening of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commonwealth Bank flash composite output index climbed to 52.6 in June from 28.1 in the previous month. The increase was centered on the service sector, which saw a rise in activity for the first time in five months. Meanwhile, manufacturing production fell at a much softer pace.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index inched up 9.90 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,954.40, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 11.30 points, or 0.2 percent, at 6,069.30.

AMP soared 7.9 percent as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand finally agreed to the sale of its life insurance business to British firm, Resolution.

Miners BHP, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto rose between 0.8 percent and 1.4 percent. Alumina shares rallied 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, energy stocks such as Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search fell between 0.6 percent and 0.9 percent, while banks Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac dropped around half a percent.

Retailer Woolworths Group declined 0.8 percent. The retail giant said it expects full-year earnings to be slightly lower than last year and noted that trading so far in the June quarter continued to be strong.

Seoul stocks edged higher after President Trump took to Twitter and clarified that the U.S. trade deal with China is “fully intact” and that he hopes China will continue to “live up to the terms” of the agreement. The benchmark Kospi edged up 4.51 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,131.24.

On the other hand, New Zealand shares edged lower, with the benchmark NZX 50 Index ending down 25.88 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,132.58.

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