Asia report: Markets mixed as US delays China tariffs
Asian markets were mixed on Thursday after US President Donald Trump confirmed a two-week delay to tariff hikes on $250bn of Chinese goods.
Trump said on Wednesday that he was delaying a planned 5% hike to 14 October after Beijing moved to exempt 16 types of US imports from its own tariffs, sparking optimism that tensions between the two superpowers are easing as they prepare to restart trade negotiations next month.
Craig Erlam, market analyst at Oanda, said: "We have apparently seen a thawing in relations between the US and China, following token gestures of goodwill between the two, so perhaps we're at least on the right track. Unfortunately, I'm not really convinced and don't think they represent a thawing of anything.
"We're no closer to a deal despite the niceties and more tariffs are coming. Investors don't really want to believe that though."
Japan's Nikkei 225 was 0.75% higher at 21,759.61 by the close of the session after Yahoo Japan made gains, rising by 2.4% following reports it would buy a majority stake in online fashion giant Zozo.
The Japanese yen remained fairly flat against the US dollar, dropping by just 0.03% to JPY107.85.
In China, the Shanghai Composite rose by 0.75% to 3,031.24 and the tech-heavy Shenzhen Composite was up 0.58% at 1,681.23.
Sichuan Xichang Electric Power Co, Guizhou Guihang Automotive Components Co and ENN Ecological Holdings Co led the way higher as they each made gains of around 10%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 0.26% at 27,087.63 following sharp gains in the previous session, with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing dropping by more than 3% following its £30bn takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange Group.
The South Korean Kospi was closed for Chuseok, a three-day harvest festival.
Brent Crude fell by 0.86% to $60.29 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate dipped 0.65% to $55.39.
Down under, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose by 0.25% to 6,654.87, reaching its highest close in more than a month as property stocks and the 'big four' banks drove the index higher.
Miners also continued to rise, with BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals all finishing the session in the green.
Across the Tasman, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 was 0.18% lower at 10,905.06 as Z Energy dropped by 9.8% after cutting its earnings guidance by NZ$60m following discounting among petrol retailers.
Synlait Milk followed close behind, falling by 9.2% after missing annual profit estimates.
Finally, the Australian dollar was 0.26% firmer against the US dollar at A$1.45, while New Zealand's dollar firmed up by 0.31% to NZ$1.55.