Nikkei up as Trump hits at future trade deal, while Hang Seng retreats
Asian stock markets finished mixed Monday, as President Donald Trump visited Japan and talked trade with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
On Monday, Trump became the first world leader to meet Japan’s new emperor, Naruhito, and later met with Abe to discuss trade and other world issues.
While no U.S.-Japan trade deal has been reached, Trump tweeted Saturday: “Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan. Agriculture and beef heavily in play. Much will wait until after their July elections where I anticipate big numbers!”
Meanwhile in Europe, centrist parties suffered losses in European Parliament elections, with far-right parties and the Green Party making inroads. However, the populist gains were not as great as some had expected, and pro-EU parties will control more than two-thirds of the seats.
U.S. financial markets will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day.
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.31% finished 0.3% higher, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.24% ended 0.2% lower.
The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +1.38% jumped 1.4% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +2.51% rose 2.5%. Reuters reported data showed profits for Chinese industrial firms falling in April on weak demand, following strong numbers in the previous month. The read-in from the latest data is that policy makers may need to step in and support the economy.
South Korea’s Kospi 180721, -0.05% was flat, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +0.06% , Singapore STI, +0.03% and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.69% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.06% finished flat.
Among individual stocks, oil producer Inpex 1605, +1.77% gained in Tokyo trading, as did Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing 9983, +1.33% and SoftBank Group 9984, +1.65% . In Hong Kong, food processor WH Group 288, -1.76% fell, along with Tencent 700, -0.31% and China Life Insurance 2628, -0.33% . SK Hynix 000660, -1.04% declined in South Korea, and in Australia, BHP BHP, +1.31% rose while Oil Search OSH, -1.76% dropped.