Asian stocks mixed amid China tension with US, Australia

Asian stocks mixed amid China tension with US, Australia


Asian stock markets were mixed Thursday after Wall Street rose despite Chinese trade tensions with Washington and Australia.

Investors were looking ahead to Friday’s meeting of China’s legislature for details of possible new steps by Beijing to stimulate its virus-battered economy.

Benchmarks in Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul swung between gains and losses. Australia was little-changed while India opened higher.

Investors are optimistic about the global outlook despite mounting infection numbers in the United States, Brazil and other countries. But China's conflicts with Washington and Australia over the coronavirus, trade and Beijing's technology ambitions are adding to uncertainty.

China has blocked beef imports from four Australian suppliers in possible retaliation for Australia’s support for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has stepped up a feud over Beijing’s industrial ambitions by tightening controls on use of U.S. technology by tech giant Huawei.

“Risk is not firing on all cylinders this morning as Asian investors are trying to make heads or tails of the recent China trade spats with the U.S. and Australia,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index was off 0.2% at 2,877.64 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.1% to 20,619.64, rebounding from morning losses. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.2% to 24,348.99.

The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.4% to 1,998.00 and Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 was up less than 0.1% at 5,576.10. India's Sensex opened up 0.7% at 31,046.85 while New Zealand was off 0.5% and Singapore was up less than 0.1%.

Overnight, Wall Street rebounded, propelled by gains for tech stocks, communications companies and banks.

The benchmark S&P 500...

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