Shares wavered Wednesday in Asia as regional markets appeared to shrug off the latest North Korean missile test. But trading was light ahead of U.S. data releases and meetings later in the week between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.3 percent to 18,861.27 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rebounded to gain 0.3 percent to 24,326.99. The Kospi of South Korea was flat at 2,160.85. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 5,876.20 and the Shanghai Composite index advanced 1.5 percent to 3,270,31. Markets in Southeast Asia were mostly higher.
TRUMP CHINA: Trade agreements and regional tensions will be in focus as Trump and Xi meet Thursday and Friday at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. While some analysts expect the two sides to keep friction to a minimum by following an agreed-upon script, others worry Trump’s past harsh criticism of China and mounting dissatisfaction with Beijing in American business circles auger ill for the summit.
QUOTABLE: “To some extent, the market’s imagination appear to be running wild with the possibilities of the outcome from this meeting, especially given the impulsiveness we have seen from President Donald Trump thus far on issues regarding China. This will likely cause many to stay on the side-lines ahead of the meeting,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.