Asian shares had a mixed session Wednesday as investors awaited the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam and rising tensions in Southeast Asia rattled some investors.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 NIK, -0.45% closed up 0.5%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.03% gained 0.3% and South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.18% rose 0.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, +0.19% flattened out, while the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +0.13% pared its gains, adding 0.4%.
Among individual stocks, Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing 9983, -0.25% jumped in Tokyo trading, along with Rakuten 4755, +0.23% and Takeda Pharmeceutical 4502, +0.51% . In Hong Kong, AIA Group 1299, +0.91% and Sands China 1928, -1.51% were among the biggest gainers, while Apple AAPL, +0.31% suppliers AAC 2018, +1.04% and Sunny Optical 2382, -0.32% sank. Hyundai Motor 005387, -1.59% spiked in Korean trading after the auto maker spurned a dividend-payout call by activist investor Elliott Management. Beach Energy BPT, +1.45% shares rose in Australia.
Kim and Trump both arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday and their Hanoi meetings get underway later in the day Wednesday. The two leaders first met last June in Singapore, a summit that was long on historic pageantry but short in any enforceable agreements for North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal.
Trump and Kim are to have a private dinner Wednesday evening and discussions on Thursday in hopes of building on an aspirational agreement they made in Singapore.
India’s Sensex Index 1, -0.19% slipped 0.2%, but Pakistan’s KSE 100 index tumbled 2% after Pakistan shot down two Indian jets, capturing one pilot, as tensions ramped up between the two countries.
U.S. stock indexes capped a day of wobbly trading with slight losses Tuesday, erasing some of their modest gains from a day earlier. The market changed course several times during the day as investors balanced conflicting U.S. economic data and testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
The Fed chief told Congress that the U.S. economy should keep expanding at a solid, though somewhat slower pace this year, and reassured markets that the central bank would be “patient” in raising interest rates. Those comments, which indicate steady policy ahead, cheered sentiments among Asian markets.
The S&P 500 SPX, -0.05% dropped 2.21 points, or 0.1%, to 2,793.90. The benchmark index, which has finished higher the past four weeks in a row, broke a two-day winning streak.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.28% fell 33.97 points, or 0.1%, to 26,057.98. The Nasdaq composite COMP, +0.07% slid 5.16 points, or 0.1%, to 7,549.30.
U.S. benchmark crude CLJ9, +0.04% added $1.14 to $56.63 a barrel. It was essentially flat at $55.50 a barrel in New York overnight. Brent crude LCOJ9, -0.20% , used to price international oils, 34 cents to $65.70 a barrel in London.
The dollar USDJPY, -0.09% rose to 110.71 yen from 110.86 yen
- By Associated Press