Asia Closes Mixed Amid Trade Concerns


Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday, after some regional stock indexes shrugged off early losses. Meanwhile, the dollar and bond yields slipped as concerns over heightened trade tensions lingered.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 regained 26.66 points, or 0.1%, to 21,803.95. Retailers gained ground, while automakers and technology names traded mixed.

Against the safe-haven yen, the U.S. dollar extended losses to 105.99 amid trade-related worries, below the 106.2 handle seen in the last session.

The Hang Seng Index recaptured 106.09 points, or 0.3%, to 31,541.10

The financials sub-index eked out gains on the whole, even though heavyweight HSBC was down 0.1% and AIA lost 0.2%, an hour before the market close.

Elsewhere, Cathay Pacific jumped 4.6% late in the trading day after the airline on Wednesday announced a loss of 1.26 billion Hong Kong dollars ($160 million U.S.) in 2017 — smaller than the HK$2.15 billion forecast

In corporate news, Samsung Electronics said it would start constructing a memory chip production line in China at the end of the month in a bid to enhance its NAND flash technology, Reuters reported. Samsung shares were off by 0.4% by the end of the day.

CHINA

The CSI 300 recovered 22.82 points, or 0.6%, to 4,096.16. Consumer stocks were the best-performing sector on the blue-chip index.

Newly listed stocks on the mainland were lower, with names like China Express Airlines down 9.9%. The dive in share prices came after a Xinhua report cited regulators saying such stocks were vulnerable to near-term speculation,

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex dipped 20.35 points, or 0.2%, to 11,018.45

In Korea, the Kospi eked up 6.3 points, or 0.3%, to 2,492.38

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index let go of 21.68 points, or 0.6%, to 3,517.73

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 recouped 34.7 points, or 0.4%, to 8,467.33

The ASX 200 dropped 14.46 points, or 0.2%, to 5,920.85