Asian markets mixed as investors weigh Huawei implications

Asian markets mixed as investors weigh Huawei implications

Nikkei down, but stocks rise in mainland China

Asian stock markets were mixed in early trading Tuesday, amid reports that the Trump administration will extend a temporary reprieve for an export ban to China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the U.S. will soon announce a handful of U.S. companies may receive 90-day exemptions to the technology export ban announced last week. That could give some breathing room to Huawei and other companies, and serve as a potential bargaining chip assuming trade talks with China are resumed.

On Tuesday, Huawei’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said in an interview that the potential reprieve is meaningless because the Chinese tech giant has already prepared for the worst, and has stockpiled chips. He also said U.S. export restrictions won’t hinder its development of 5G technology, and that within a few years Huawei’s 5G tech would be superior to that of every other company.

Tech stocks fell on Wall Street over concerns about how the Huawei ban will affect U.S. companies, and potential retaliation by China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.33% fell 84.10 points, or 0.3%, to 25,679.90, the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.67% declined 19.30 points, or 0.7%, to 2,840.23, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -1.46% dropped 113.91 points, or 1.5%, to 7,702.38.

On Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.23% fell 0.4%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, -0.02% was last about flat after making up early losses. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +1.37% gained 1% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +1.83% rose 1.3%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, +0.30% advanced 0.7%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +0.64% , Singapore STI, -0.44% and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.94% were mixed, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.28% declined 0.3%.

Among individual stocks, Nikon 7731, +3.71% and SoftBank Group 9984, +3.53% gained in Tokyo trading, while Sony 6758, -4.28% and shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines 9104, -4.05% fell. In Hong Kong, AAC 2018, +1.85% and Bank of China 3988, +1.71% rose while Sino Biopharmaceutical 1177, -1.15% and casino operator Galaxy Entertainment 27, -0.42% dropped. Samsung 005930, +3.10% , which could benefit if Huawei’s supply of U.S. chips is cut off, surged in South Korea. Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, -1.68% fell in Taiwan. In Australia, BHP BHP, -0.81% and Beach Energy BPT, -2.87% declined, while Westpac Banking WBC, +2.29% rose.

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