Stocks Gain amid Trade Developments

Stocks in Asia Pacific were mostly higher on Wednesday following developments on the U.S.-China trade front.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 88.69 points, or 0.4%, to 21,709.57

The Japanese yen, widely viewed as a safe-haven currency, traded at 108.08 against the U.S. dollar, after touching an earlier low of 108.27.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index added 57.56 points, or 0.2%, to 28,524.04. Shares of cosmetic manufacturer L’Occitane jumped more than 5%, with Nomura upgrading the stock to a "buy."

Korean bourses took a pounding. Shares of Apple supplier LG Display dropped 3.8% after the firm reported a larger-than-expected second-quarter operating loss.

The company also said it is looking to diversify its supplier base amid the ongoing diplomatic spat between Tokyo and Seoul that has seen Japan place export curbs on important materials to South Korea.

South Korea on Wednesday asked Japan to scrap its plan to remove the former from its so-called white list of minimum trade restrictions.
Australian stocks climbed, as most sectors saw gains.

The Australian dollar was at $0.6984 after declining from levels above $0.702 in the previous session.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 picked up 29.92 points, or 0.8%, to 3,819.83

On the trade front, in-person trade negotiations between the U.S. and China will begin next week. They said White House officials are looking at a longer-term timeline.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index faded 19.15 points, or 0.9%, to 2,082.30

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index backed off 4.69 points, or 0.1%, to 3,368.44

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index lost 11.5 points, or 0.1%, to 10,935.76

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 subtracted 54.7 points, or 0.5%, to 10,812.54

In Australia, the ASX 200 added 52.05 points, or 0.8%, to 6,776.68