Asian stocks markets closed on mixed territories on Thursday, as investors digested developments in US-China trade relations.
Trade anxieties have negatively affected investor sentiment in recent weeks, with markets in Mainland China, in particular, taking a beating due to fears over the possible economic repercussions Trump administration’s trade policies may have on the people’s republic.
U.S. President Donald Trump unexpectedly took a softer approach rather than applying a China-Specific investment restriction, the president said on Wednesday, that he would implement a strengthened national security appraisal process to impede Chinese acquisitions of sensitive American technologies.
Primary benchmark Shanghai Composite tumbled 0.97 percent or 27.2 points to close at 2,785.98 pressured by significant losses across the most sector with the energy and telecommunications services sectors being the exception. Meanwhile, the smaller Shenzhen SE Composite lost 1.19 percent to end the session in at 1,556.82 as losses across all sectors weighed on the broader market.
In Hong Kong, equities overcame trade jitters and advanced as Hang Seng index rose by 0.5 percent or 141.06 points to settle at 28,497.32 lifted by significant gains in the Energy, Healthcare and industrials sectors.
In South Korea, equities closed today’s trading session in the red, as Seoul’s main index KOSPI dropped 1.19 percent to close lower at 2,314.24, Seoul stocks slumped amid heavy selling by foreign investors as the Won hit an eight-month low against the Dollar on uncertainty over global trade.
In the Corporate space, Korean Air Lines chairman, Cho Yang-ho, was probed over alleged tax evasion in Seoul on Thursday. The airlines share dropped 3.57 percent on the news.
Japanese Stock Market:
Tokyo’s primary benchmark Nikkei 225 index was flat at the close on Thursday, to end the session at 22,270.40.
Japanese shares ended mostly unchanged near one-month lows due to uncertainty over the Trump administration’s trade policy.
In economic news, Japanese economic released data the during Asian session showed that retail trade declined by 1.7 percent month on monthly in May, its fastest decline in 21 months and beating market estimates of 0.8 percent decline. Additionally, Japan’s large retailer’s sales retreated 2.0 percent month on month in May.
On a seasonally-adjusted basis, retail sales declined 1.7% in May, the trade ministry reported.
In stock-specific news, Showa Shell fell 3.8 percent after hitting a record high the previous day on reports that Idemitsu Kosan’s founding family is likely to drop its opposition to long-stalled plans for a merger with the company.
In the Forex market, the U.S Dollar was little changed against the Japanese Yen to trade at 110.220 USDJPY at 13:00 GMT.
Australian Stock Market:
Australian stocks were nearly unchanged on Wednesday, with Sydney’s primary benchmark S&P/ASX200 edging lower by 0.03 percent to trade at 6,195.9 at the close.
Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price jump 1-2 percent as base metal prices recovered during Londons Metal Exchange and Chinese iron ore futures rose after the release of weekly steel inventory data.
In the currency market, the Aussie Dollar rose against the U.S. Dollar to trade at 0.73433 AUDUSD at 13:00 GMT.