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Asian Shares Mixed Despite Trade Deal Optimism


Asian stocks ended on a mixed note Tuesday as investors awaited concrete details of a possible interim U.S.-China trade deal.

Chances of an early trade deal brightened after U.S. President Donald Trump said he expected to sign a significant part of the deal ahead of schedule, but did not specify an exact date.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Monday that Washington will consider whether to extend certain tariff suspensions on $34 billion worth of imports from China that are set to expire on December 28 this year.

Investors also awaited a Federal Reserve interest-rate decision this week for clues on the future path of U.S. interest rates.

Chinese shares fell despite Trump's upbeat remarks about prospects for a trade deal with China being agreed ahead of expectations.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index dropped 25.87 points, or 0.87 percent, to 2,954.18 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended down 0.39 percent at 26,786.76.

Japanese shares hit their highest level in more than a year after Trump said he hopes to sign a trade deal with China's President Xi Jinping next month at a summit in Chile.

The Nikkei average climbed 106.86 points, or 0.47 percent, to 22,974.13 after hitting as high as 23,008.43 earlier in the day, marking the highest since Oct. 11, 2018. The broader Topix index closed 0.86 percent higher at 1,662.68.

Toyota Motor, Sony, Honda Motor and Nissan Motor rallied 1-2 percent as the yen traded marginally lower after the release of inflation data.

Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile food prices, rose an annual 0.5 percent in October, staying distant from the Bank of Japan's elusive 2 percent target and keeping it under pressure to ramp up stimulus.

Canon shed 0.8 percent after the company lowered its fiscal 2019 earnings outlook for the third time.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group jumped 2.6 percent on reports that Saudi Arabia is discussing the possibility of investing more money into its second Vision Fund.

Australian markets fluctuated before closing on a flat note. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index inched up 4.70 points to 6,745.40 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up by 6 points at 6,848.50.

Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto surged more than 1 percent each. Energy stocks finished broadly lower after crude oil prices closed lower overnight to snap a four-day winning streak.

Bravura Solution soared 4.7 percent after the company said it would acquire FinoComp for a total consideration of $25 million.

Bega Cheese slumped 12.8 percent as the diary and grocery producer flagged weaker earnings in fiscal 2020 due to lower demand for its unbranded products and higher milk prices.

Seoul stocks ended marginally lower after survey data from Bank of Korea showed that confidence among South Korea's manufacturers and non-manufacturers are set to weaken in November.

The business survey index on business conditions in manufacturing rose one point to 72 in October, but the outlook for next month fell one point to 72.

New Zealand shares ended little changed with a positive bias, giving up early gains. Electricity generator Genesis Energy gained as much as 2.5 percent.

Singapore's Straits Times index was up 0.1 percent. A government report revealed that manufactured product prices in Singapore fell 4.5 percent year-on-year in September, following the 4.1 percent decrease in August. On a monthly basis, producer prices remained unchanged in the month after the 1.9 percent rise in August.

U.S. stocks rose overnight, with sentiment underpinned by strong earnings, merger and acquisition news, progress in U.S.-China trade talks and the EU's Brexit extension announcement, which removed the risk of a damaging no-deal split on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose half a percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 percent while the S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent to a record high.