Asia Mixed on Trade Data

Asian markets closed narrowly mixed on Wednesday as investors searched for direction following the mixed close on Wall Street in the last session. Investors in the region digested mixed trade data out of China and kept an eye on U.S. President Donald Trump's tour of Asia.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 ducked back from 26-year peaks, losing 23.78 points, or 0.1%, to 22,913.82

The Hang Seng Index also retreated from big jumps, falling 86.74 points, or 0.3%, to 28,907.60

Toyota raised its full-year operating profit estimate to two trillion yen on Tuesday. That was an 8% increase compared to its previous forecast of 1.85 trillion yen. Toyota shares tacked on 1% by the end of the day as other automaker names finished the session mixed.

Meanwhile, Tencent's China Literature made its debut in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Shares of the online e-book platform soared up to 100% during the session, compared to its issue price of 55 Hong Kong dollars ($7.05) apiece at the open. Tencent shares were off 0.2%.

In Korea, gains in blue-chip names offset losses in financials and automakers and manufacturing stocks: Samsung Electronics ended 1.2% higher, SK Hynix rose 1% and Posco closed down 2.3%.

Trump addressed the Korean National Assembly on Wednesday as his five-country tour of Asia rolled on. The president warned that the U.S. should not be underestimated and added that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was putting his regime in "grave danger" by continuing to acquire weapons.

In Australia, mining stocks pared gains made in the last session. The heavily-weighted financials sub-index held in the green to trade higher by 0.6% on the day.

Commonwealth Bank announced unaudited net profit for the three months ending September climbed to 2.8 billion Australian dollars ($2.14 billion U.S.). Cash earnings for the quarter rose 6% to A$2.65 billion ($2.03 billion U.S.). Commonwealth shares closed up 2.7%, outperforming other banking stocks, which notched moderate gains.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dipped 6.24 points, or 0.2%, to 4,048.01

October trade data released Wednesday showed China's exports rose 6.9% from one year ago, compared to the 7.2% forecast. Imports rose 17.2%, above the 16% forecast. China's surplus with the U.S., meanwhile, declined to $26.2 billion from $28.08 billion last month

Trump arrived in China on Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to discuss trade-related issues and North Korea with his Chinese counterparts.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index recovered 6.96 points, or 0.3%, to 2,552.40

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index skidded 21.35 points, or 0.2%, to 10,818.99

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained 8.15 points, or 0.2%, to 3,421.25

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 9.25 points, or 0.1%, to 8,040.42

In Australia, the ASX 200 eked up 1.92 points to 6,016.27