Asian markets mixed after conflicting trade messages from China
Asian markets were mixed in early trading Friday, after China threatened to retaliate if the Trump administration goes ahead with its latest tariff threats, yet still held out hopes for a trade deal.
Beijing will take unspecified “necessary countermeasures,” China’s Cabinet said in a one-sentence statement. It gave no details or any indication plans for trade talks in Washington in September might be affected.
President Donald Trump has said he plans to impose 10% tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1, extending penalties to almost everything the United States buys from China. The Chinese announcement made no mention of Trump’s decision Wednesday to postpone penalties on about 60% of those goods until Dec. 15.
Still, officials from China’s foreign ministry later said they hope a trade deal will still be worked out, and said Trump and President Xi Jinping have remained in contact.
Meanwhile, investors were keeping an eye on U.S. bonds. The the 30-year Treasury yield TMUBMUSD30Y, +1.00% fell to an all-time low Thursday, while the yield on the benchmark 10-year note TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.82% hit a three-year low.
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.10% recovered from an early dip and was last about flat, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.80% advanced 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.68% gained 0.5% while the Shenzhen Composite 399106, +1.03% rose 0.6%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, -0.74% fell 0.9%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +1.05% , Singapore STI, -0.74% and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.34% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.16% slipped 0.1%.
Among individual stocks, Screen Holdings 7735, +4.90% and Inpex 1605, +1.18% rose in Tokyo trading, while robotics maker Fanuc 6954, -0.75% fell. In Hong Kong, Ping An Insurance 2318, +2.98% and New World Development 17, +3.67% gained, while Tencent 700, -0.91% slipped. SK Hynix 000660, -1.30% and LG Electronics 066570, -0.83% declined in South Korea, and Foxconn 2354, +1.95% advanced in Taiwan. In Australia, Oil Search BPT, +1.25% sank while Fortescue Metals FMG, +2.13% jumped.
China’s central bank set the daily midpoint for the yuan at 7.0312 per U.S. dollar, the seventh consecutive session it’s been set weaker than the 7 level.
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