Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Tuesday despite lingering uncertainty about a potential U.S.-China trade deal and an escalation of violence in Hong Kong. Caution ruled ahead of a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump at the Economic Club of New York later in the day.
Chinese stocks closed slightly higher as bank lending data put additional pressure on policymakers to boost stimulus. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index inched up 4.85 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,914.82 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended up 0.52 percent at 27,065.28 despite rising pro-democracy unrest in the city.
China's bank lending declined notably in October, figures from the People's Bank of China showed. Banks lent CNY 661.3 billion loans in October compared to CNY 1.69 trillion in September. Lending was forecast to fall to CNY 800 billion.
Japanese shares rose as the yen hovered near a five-month low versus the dollar, helping lift shares of companies that export a lot of goods. The Nikkei average gained 188.17 points, or 0.81 percent, to finish at 23,520.01 points, while the broader Topix index closed 0.33 percent higher at 1,709.67.
Electronics maker Sony rose 1.3 percent while chip equipment maker Advantest jumped 3.5 percent. Mitsui Mining & Smelting shares slumped 13.2 percent.
Australian markets fell slightly as uncertainty continued to hang over U.S.-China trade talks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 19.50 points, or 0.29 percent, to 6,753 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 19.90 points, or 0.29 percent, at 6.857.10.
Lender Westpac Banking Corp tumbled 3.5 percent on going ex-dividend. Commonwealth gained 1 percent despite reporting a near 10 percent drop in first-quarter cash profit.
Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto ended narrowly mixed on lower commodity prices while smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group lost 2.1 percent.
Nine Entertainment Co. plunged 5.7 percent. The media network reported a 6.4 percent decrease in TV ad revenue in the first quarter and forecast revenue for the second quarter to drop by almost as much again.
Fertilizer and explosives maker Incitec Pivot declined 1.7 percent on reporting a 27.8 percent decrease in full-year net profit and cutting its final dividend.
On the data front, Australia's business confidence as well as conditions improved slightly in October but remained below average, survey data from National Australia Bank showed today.
Seoul stocks rose notably as investors lapped up shares of chipmakers on expectations of higher demand. Samsung Electronics advanced 1.9 percent and SK Hynix added 2.3 percent, helping the benchmark Kospi index end up by 16.83 points, or 0.79 percent, at 2,140.92.
New Zealand shares ended little changed, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 ending up by 6.52 points at 10,926.31. led by utilities. Meridian Energy advanced 1.7 percent and Mercury NZ added 0.8 percent.
In economic news, the inflation expectation for the next two years slowed marginally to 1.80 percent in fourth quarter from 1.86 percent rise in the previous quarter, data from Reserve Bank of New Zealand showed today. The latest inflation expectation was the lowest since fourth quarter in 2016, when it was 1.68 percent.
U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as the arrest of three pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong added to investor concerns surrounding the U.S.-China trade deal.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up marginally to a fresh record closing high benefiting from a sharp surge in Boeing shares. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.2 percent.