Asia Mixed as Trade Rises

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Thursday amid hopes that the U.S. and China could strike a deal soon.

The Nikkei 225 gained 28.09 points, or 0.1%, to 22,048.74, as shares of index heavyweight and robot maker Fanuc jumped 2.44%

The moves came after Trump said Wednesday that Washington and Tokyo had reached an initial trade agreement.

Shares of Japanese automakers also jumped after the chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said trade negotiations between Tokyo and Washington were headed in the direction of avoiding auto tariffs. Toyota gained 1.1% while Honda added 1.4% and Subaru surged 2.2%.

Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index picked up 96.58 points, or 0.4%, to 26,041.93, as shares of Chinese tech behemoth Tencent added 1%.

Korea was fairly flat as chipmaker SK Hynix’s stock jumped 1.7%.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s industrial production data for August fell much more than expected. Manufacturing output dropped 8% in August as compared to a year ago. That compared against expectations of a 0.7% contraction in a survey, and a revised 0.1% fall in July.

The ongoing tariff fight between the U.S. and China has taken a toll on the trade-dependent island nation’s economy, with both the Singapore government and economists cutting their GDP growth forecast for 2019.

CHINA

In China, the CSI 300 slid 29.84 points, or 0.8%, to 3,841.34

U.S. President Donald Trump said at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday that a deal between the U.S. and China could come sooner "than you think." The two largest economies of the world have attempted to find a deal to end their protracted trade dispute which has lasted for more than a year and rattled financial markets globally.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index eked higher 1.13 points, or 0.1%, to 2,074.52

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index eased 1.7 points to 10,871.99

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index doffed 0.01 points to 3,125.81

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 fell 38.67 points, or 0.4%, to 10,822.77

In Australia, the ASX 200 moved lower 32.64 points, or 0.5%, to 6,677.58