Asia Mixed on U.S.-China Trade Optimism

Major Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday as investors monitored further developments on the U.S.-China trade front, with the two economic powerhouses working toward a deal.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index gained 106.86 points, or 0.5%, to 22,974.13.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.95 against the U.S. dollar after weakening from levels below 108.9 in the previous session.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index dumped 104.50 points, or 0.4%, to 26,786.76, with Hong Kong-listed shares of HSBC dropping 1.24% after the lender reported third-quarter pre-tax profits that dropped 18% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday she expects the city to book negative growth for 2019, amid ongoing protests that have lasted for months.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6853 after an earlier low of $0.6832. The moves came after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said in a speech on Tuesday that it is "extraordinarily unlikely" that the country will see negative interest rates.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 subtracted 16.35 points, or 0.4%, to 3,910.23

Investors continue to watch for developments in U.S.-China trade. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Monday that Washington will consider extending certain tariff exclusions on $34 billion worth of imports from China. The USTR said last week that China and the U.S. are close to finalizing a phase one deal.

For his part, U.S. President Donald Trump said the deal with China is expected to be signed “ahead of schedule,” but did not elaborate on the timing

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index returned to trading after a long weekend, with a gain of 11.51 points, or 0.4%, to 3,197.04

In Taiwan, the Taiex advanced 18.85 points, or 0.2%, to 11,333.87

In Korea, the Kospi demurred 0.91 points to 2,092.69

In Australia, the ASX 200 edged up 4.71 points, or 0.1%, to 6,745.42

In New Zealand, the NZX resumed trading after a long weekend, picking up 5.11 points, or 0.1%, to 10,793.75