Trade Uncertainty Drives Asia Downward

Shares in major Asian stock markets mostly slipped on Wednesday following a series of conflicting reports on U.S.-China trade that surfaced overnight.

The Nikkei 225 average regained 42.07 points, or 0.2%, to 21,608.92, bucking the downward trend, with shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing advancing 0.7%. Sony and Nintendo both saw their stock falling by more than 3%, following Google's overnight announcement of its video game streaming platform.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.57 against the U.S. dollar after seeing highs around 111.2 in the previous session.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index dropped 145.31 points, or 0.5%, to 29,320.97. Shares of Chinese smart phone maker Xiaomi dropped more than 4.7% despite posting fourth quarter earnings that bested expectations.

Korean markets sagged, even though chipmaker SK Hynix jumped 3.7%

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7079 U.S. after declining from highs above $0.71 yesterday.

In other markets

The CSI 300 index moved doggedly higher, 1.48 points, to 3,835.44

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dropped 13.26 points, or 0.4%, to 3,207.66

Korea’s Kospi Index docked 0.52 points to 2,177.10

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index gained 39.24 points, or 0.4%, to 10,551.56

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 moved lower 61.57 points, or 0.7%, to 9,435.70

In Australia, the ASX 200 fell 22.44 points, or 0.4%, to 6,165.35