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


Asian stock markets mostly rose in subdued trading early trading Friday, looking to cap a full 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 0.3%, on pace for 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%


In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index

HSI, +0.51%

  rose 0.6%, with the energy sector leading gainers as oil rebounded in the U.S.; Cnooc

0883, +3.12%

  was up some 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, +0.53%

  was last up 0.2%, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite

399106, +0.53%

  was about flat. That came as manufacturing PMI slowed further in November, missing expectations.

South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, -0.57%

  fell 0.4%, threatening a four-day winning streak, as Samsung

005930, -2.20%

  declined 1%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, +0.03%

  and Singapore

STI, +0.55%

  each rose about 0.5%.

Australia’s ASX 200

XJO, -1.58%

  fell more than 1%, dragged down by big banks. Westpac

WBC, -1.70%

  and Commonwealth Bank of Australia

CBA, -1.66%

  were each down about 1%. New Zealand’s benchmark

NZ50GR, +0.33%

  rose slightly, on pace for its fourth straight gain.

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