Asian Shares Mixed Amid Trade-deal Uncertainty



Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Friday as fresh concerns over the prospects for a long-term U.S.-China trade deal offset upbeat data from China.

Chinese shares rallied on the back of upbeat data from IHS Markit showing that China's manufacturing sector expanded at the fastest pace since early 2017 in October. The manufacturing PMI rose to 51.7 from 51.4 in September, signaling an improvement in operating conditions for three months running.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index climbed 29.14 points, or 0.99 percent, to 2,958.20 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.72 percent to 27,100.76.

Japanese shares slipped after survey data from IHS Markit showed that Japan's manufacturing sector moved deeper into contraction in October largely due to a sharp fall in new orders. At 48.4, the reading reached its lowest level in nearly three-and-a-half years.

The Nikkei average dropped 76.27 points, or 0.33 percent, to 22,850.77, after falling to as low as 22,705.60, its lowest since Oct. 24 earlier in the day. The broader Topix index finished marginally lower at 1,666.50.

Exporters and other cyclical stocks were among the prominent decliners after the dollar hit a three-week low of 107.92 yen overnight on renewed doubts over a U.S.-China trade deal.

Factory automation equipment maker Keyence jumped 8.2 percent after announcing a stock split plan.

Gaming company Nintendo soared 7.5 percent after its operating profit doubled both on a year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter basis.

Australian markets ended little changed with a positive bias after a survey showed the country's manufacturing sector continued to expand in October, albeit at a slower rate.

Lender ANZ fell 2.1 percent to extend losses from the previous session after posting disappointing financial results. Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac ended down between half a percent and 1.2 percent

Macquarie Group edged up slightly despite the investment bank reiterating a weak outlook for fiscal 2020.

Mining stocks such as BHP, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto fell between 0.4 percent and 1 percent on concerns about a potential Sino-U.S. trade deal.

Gold miner Evolution Mining rallied 2.7 percent, Newcrest climbed 2.8 percent and Northern Star Resources advanced 1.4 percent after gold prices rose overnight on dollar weakness following the Fed's interest-rate announcement.

Seoul stocks rose despite weak exports data and fresh uncertainty surrounding the U.S.-China trade deal. The benchmark Kospi inched up 16.72 points, or 0.80 percent, to 2,100.20, with tech heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix leading the surge.

South Korea's exports dipped 14.7 percent from a year earlier in October, extending their slump to a 11th consecutive month on weak chip exports amid global trade tensions, according to preliminary data released by the trade ministry today.

New Zealand shares edged lower, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ending down 26.13 points, or 0.24 percent, at 10,761.69 dragged down by utilities. Contact Energy lost 2.3 percent, Meridian Energy dropped 1.7 percent and Mercury New Zealand declined 1.3 percent.

The Taiwan Weighted index edged up 0.4 percent after an advance estimate showed the country's economy grew at a faster pace in the third quarter on exports. GDP grew 2.91 percent on a yearly basis after rising 2.4 percent in the second quarter. This was the fastest growth since the second quarter of 2018 and above the forecast of 2.45 percent.

Indonesian shares were moving lower after a survey showed that manufacturing activity in the country contracted the most in nearly four years in October.

U.S. stocks ended lower overnight as investors reacted to mixed earnings and more evidence of a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing activity.

Investors were also spooked by a new report from Bloomberg suggesting that Chinese officials are unwilling to budge on the thorniest issues and have cast doubts about reaching a comprehensive long-term trade agreement.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped half a percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 eased 0.3 percent.

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