Asian markets largely rally after weak start, led by Chinese stocks

Asian markets largely rally after weak start, led by Chinese stocks

Nikkei back in positive territory

After a soft opening, Asian equities closed broadly higher Monday, although investors remained wary of lingering U.S.-China trade tensions and shaky oil prices.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.09% made up early losses of almost 1% to close up about 0.1%. Major exporters lost ground behind a weaker yen. Sony 6758, -3.07% fell 3%, while Honda 7267, +0.06% firmed and Nintendo 7974, -0.41% slipped slightly. Robotics maker Fanuc 6954, +2.58% jumped 2.5%.

Hong Kong stocks traded slightly higher after Friday’s region-leading declines. The Hang HSI, +0.12% was up 0.1% following last week’s 3.3% skid, including 2.4% on Friday. HSBC 0005, +0.62% gained 0.6% and China Mobile 0941, +1.78% climbed 1.7%. Chinese oil majors also rose as crude prices LCOF9, +1.31% have bounced early Monday. But Tencent 0700, -3.08% dropped 3% and AAC 2018, -3.28% fell 3% after skidding 18% last week to 2½-year lows.

Smaller Chinese stocks were again outpacing their larger peer, continuing a trading pattern seen last week. The Shenzhen Composite 399106, +2.53% rose 2.5% while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +1.22% was up 1.2%.

It was another record-setting Singles Day for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA, -0.56% Sunday, with consumers snapping up bargains despite China’s slowing economic growth, the trade fight with the U.S. and the diminished presence of Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

The e-commerce behemoth clocked in sales of $30.8 billion in the 24-hour span that began at 12 a.m. Sunday — preceded by a glitzy televised stage show in Shanghai featuring Cirque Du Soleil, Mariah Carey and Australian model Miranda Kerr. Alibaba zoomed past the previous year’s record of $25.3 billion by about 5:30 p.m.

South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.27% dropped 0.2%, while benchmarks in Taiwan Y9999, +0.01% and Singapore STI, -0.32% were mixed. Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, +0.33% was up 0.3% as bank shares tumbled, and New Zealand stocks NZ50GR, +0.28% were up 0.3%.

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