Asian stocks ended mixed on Friday as US-China trade negotiations produced no breakthrough and as investors awaited a speech by the US Federal Reserve chairman for monetary policy clues.
Talks in Washington this week yielded little visible progress toward a ceasefire between the world’s two largest economies.
Looming instead are new tariffs that US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose on about US$200 billion in annual imports from China, and Beijing’s already-promised retaliation.
“We’re facing an escalating trade war over the next few months,” said David Dollar of the Brookings Institution, who served as the US Department of the Treasury’s top man in China under the administration of former US president Barack Obama.
Shares in Japan, China and South Korea rose on Friday, while Hong Kong equities underperformed.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.25 percent to 163.60, up 1 percent for the week.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed down 53.78 points, or 0.5 percent, at 10,809.35, up 1.1 percent from last week’s 10,690.96.
Shares in Hong Kong ended lower on Friday, tracking regional stock markets.
The Hang Seng index ended 0.4 percent lower at 27,671.87, while the China Enterprises Index closed down 0.3 percent at 10,779.71 points.
The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares ended up 1.4 percent, driven by strong corporate results.
The IT sector closed 1.45 percent lower, the financial sector ended down 0.7 percent and property sector closed 0.08 percent lower.
Stocks in Sydney inched up and the Australian dollar jumped after Scott Morrison replaced Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister. The S&P/ASX 200 Index rose less than 0.05 percent.
Japan’s TOPIX on Friday rose 0.6 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.4 percent.
Additional reporting by CNA and Reuters, with staff writer
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