Asia Mixed on Trade Developments

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Wednesday as investors monitored developments on U.S.-China trade.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 51.83 points, or 0.2%, to 23,303.82, with shares of index heavyweight and robot maker Fanuc advancing 1.2%.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.98 against the U.S. dollar after touching an earlier high of 108.89.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index inched up 5.24 points to 27,688.64.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6887 after seeing an earlier low of $0.6881.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 shed 17.93 points, or 0.5%, to 3,984.88

Movements in the Chinese yuan were also watched, after the currency strengthened to below the 7 level against the U.S. dollar for the first time since August on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China set the midpoint for the yuan at 7.0080 per dollar — its strongest since August 8. The onshore yuan was last at 7.0019, while its offshore counterpart traded at 7.0024.

Investors continue to watch for more developments on U.S.-China trade as the two economic powerhouses work toward reaching a deal.

China is pushing U.S. President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs on about $125 billion worth of Chinese goods imposed in September as part of the "phase one" trade deal, reports said. "Firmer commitments on lifting tariffs" are needed for China to pay a visit to the U.S., according to the South China Morning Post.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex gained 9.04 points, or 0.1%, to 11,653.07

In Korea, the Kospi nosed ahead 1.51 points, or 0.1%, to 2,144.15

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index advanced 14.06 points, or 0.4%, to 3,262.69

In Australia, the ASX 200 lost 36.96 points, or 0.6%, to 6,660.16

In New Zealand, the NZX deleted 82.36 points, or 0.8%, to 10,759.18