Asia Mixed as China Trade Surplus Beats

Shares in Asia were mixed on Friday, with the Chinese markets slipping even as official trade data came in soaring past expectations.

The Nikkei 225 hurtled skyward 159.18 points, or 0.7%, 21,870.56, as shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing soared 7.9%

The Japanese yen traded at 111.83 against the U.S. dollar after weakening from highs below 111.0 in the previous session.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index regained 70.31 points, or 0.2%, to 29,909.76, as shares of Tencent and AIA fell.

Korean indices made headway as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics advanced 1.3%.

Australian markets advanced with almost all sectors advancing. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7126 U.S. following an earlier low of $0.7113.


The CSI 300 in China lost 8.96 points, or 0.2%, to 3,988.62

Those moves came following the release of official Chinese trade figures for the month of March, with exports and the overall trade surplus coming in much higher than expected.

On the U.S.-China trade front, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that China agreed to open its cloud-computing sector to foreign companies in an attempt to sweeten a deal with the U.S.

That report followed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin telling reporters on Wednesday that Washington and Beijing have “pretty much agreed on an enforcement mechanism” for when a deal is struck.The two economic powerhouses have been attempting to strike a deal amid a protracted trade fight.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index eked up 1.16 points to 3,331.98

Korea’s Kospi Index inched up 9.01 points, or 0.4%, to 2,233.45

The Taiex Index in Taiwan faded 3.47 points to 10,805.30

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 nicked up 1.74 points, or 0.6%, to 9,768.34

In Australia, the ASX 200 recovered 52.65 points, or 0.9%, to 6,251.32