Asian markets mostly rise in cautious trading ahead of U.S.-China talks

Asian markets mostly rise in cautious trading ahead of U.S.-China talks

Nikkei and Hang Seng gain on energy rebound, hopes of U.S.-China trade resolution

Asian stock markets were cautious but mostly in the green Wednesday as investors held out hope that a weekend meeting between the U.S. and Chinese leaders can ease trade tensions.

Overall, jitters persist for the talks which come as signs emerge of global economic slowing.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.39% gained 1%, helped by so-called domestic-demand companies, which cooled Tuesday after recent strength. Consumer products, food and construction companies led the gains, with soap maker Kao 4452, -0.88% up 4.7% and beverage maker Kirin 2503, -0.13% gaining 1.1%. But trade-sensitive sectors such as auto and steel were underperforming even with a weaker yen as metals prices have been sliding of late. Toyota 7203, +0.41% was down 0.9%.

Hong Kong stocks rebounded, with the Hang Seng HSI, -0.87% up 1.3%. Energy stocks found their footing after impacts from last week’s sharp oil slump. With crude prices up in Asia in morning trading, Cnooc 0883, +0.16% rose 2.2%. Meanwhile, stock-market heavyweight Tencent 0700, -0.89% was up an additional 3.6% as the internet firm continues its rebound.

Stocks on mainland China rose as well, with the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -1.32% up 1% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, -2.21% gaining 1.4%. Consumer names were early gainers, including wine and home-appliance makers. Shanghai Hi-tech Control 002184, +1.71% was up the 10% limit at one point, while Navtech 300456, +0.00% jumped sharply then pulled back to close up 2%.

South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.28% was up slightly, as was Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, +0.01% , while Singapore’s Strait Times Index STI, +0.48% struggled for direction.

Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, +0.58% was down slightly, though Fortescue Metals FMG, +2.28% jumped 2% after a positive assessment by Morgan Stanley. New Zealand’s NZS-50 NZ50GR, +0.93% gained.

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