Asia Markets: Asian markets cautious amid lingering trade tensions

Asian stock markets were little changed in cautious early trading Wednesday, as lingering trade tensions weighed on traders.

China’s ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, said Tuesday on Fox News that Beijing is ready to resume trade negotiations with the U.S., Reuters reported, although no new talks are scheduled. Tensions have ramped up over the past week, though were tempered slightly Monday by reports that the Trump administration will offer 90-day exemptions for some U.S. companies doing business with Huawei Technologies.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.34%   gained 0.3%, as data showed exports fell for a fifth straight month in April. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.23%   inched up 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.01%   edged down 0.1% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.08%   slipped 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, +0.07%   was about flat, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +0.19%   , Singapore STI, +0.22%   and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.16%   posted only slight movement. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.02%   was about flat.

Among individual stocks, SoftBank Group 9984, +1.35%   rose in Tokyo trading while Suzuki Motor 7269, -4.91%   tumbled. In Hong Kong, casino operator Sands China 1928, +3.31%   gained while China Mobile 941, -0.95%   slipped. SK Hynix 000660, -1.85%   slid in South Korea while chip-making rival Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, +2.35%   jumped in Taiwan. Westpac WBC, +0.84%   gained but Fortescue Metals FMG, -1.67%   fell in Australia.

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