Asian markets subdued but higher ahead of U.S.-China trade talks

Asian markets subdued but higher ahead of U.S.-China trade talks

Nikkei secures 5th straight gain

Asian stock markets mostly rose in subdued trading Friday, looking to cap a week of broad gains as investors hope that trade tensions will ease after a weekend meeting between the leaders of U.S. and China.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.40% was up 0.4%, notching its fifth straight gain, with advances by the mining and pharmaceutical sectors leading the way. Shares of health-care company Sysmex 6869, +6.68% and drug maker Otsuka 4578, +4.53% surged.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.21% rose 0.2%, with the energy sector leading gainers as oil rebounded in the U.S. Thursday, before dipping again early Friday; Cnooc 0883, +3.74% was up nearly 4%.

Chinese equities struggled for direction in early trading, bouncing up and down ahead of the weekend Xi-Trump meeting, which was keeping some investors on the sidelines. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.81% was up 0.8%, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +0.93% rose 0.9%. Gains came even as a manufacturing PMI slowed further in November, missing expectations.

South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.82% fell 0.8%, snapping a four-day winning streak, as Samsung 005930, -3.01% declined 3%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +0.03% and Singapore STI, +0.26% each rose.

Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, -1.58% fell more than 1.6%, dragged down by big banks. Westpac WBC, -1.70% and Commonwealth Bank of Australia CBA, -1.66% were each down more than 1%. New Zealand’s benchmark NZ50GR, +0.33% rose slightly, logging its fourth straight gain.

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