Asia Recovers on Trade Uncertainty

Major stocks markets in Asia closed higher on Tuesday after struggling for direction earlier in the day. Concerns over the state of U.S.-China trade negotiations as well as a recent escalation of violence in protests in Hong Kong continued to loom over regional markets.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rebuilt 188.17 points, or 0.8%, to 23,520.01.

The Japanese yen, widely viewed as a safe-haven currency in times of market uncertainty and turmoil, traded at 109.24 after seeing an earlier high of 108.96.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index regained 138.73 points, or 0.5%, to 27,065.28, with shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent jumping 1.8%.

The moves came after the Hang Seng index plunged more than 2.5% on Monday following an escalation in violence amid unrest in the embattled city.

A protester was left in critical condition after being shot by police Monday morning local time. Separately, another man was also in critical condition after he was doused with what police described as "flammable liquid" and set on fire.

Australian markets sagged, with shares of banking giant Westpac dropping 3.5%.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6854 after slipping from levels around $0.686 in the previous session.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 inched forward 0.71 points to 3,903.69

Investors watched for developments on U.S.-China trade, amid uncertainty over what has been agreed to between the two economic powerhouses. U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he had not agreed to roll back tariffs on China.

That conflicted with comments from the Chinese commerce ministry, which said both sides had agreed to cancel existing levies in phases. A U.S. official also said both sides agreed to roll back the tariffs in tranches.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex recovered 93.09 points, or 0.8%, to 11,520.37

In Korea, the Kospi re-strengthened 16.83 points, or 0.8%, to 2,140.92

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index re-stocked 27.15 points, or 0.8%, to 3,267.80

In Australia, the ASX 200 dropped 19.55 points, or 0.3%, to 6,752.97

In New Zealand, the NZX eked up 6.52 points, or 0.1%, to 10,926.31