Asian stocks recovered from a weak start to close mostly higher on Tuesday as oil prices stabilized and political risks receded in Europe.
Investors took trade tensions in stride after US President Donald Trump said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that it was “highly unlikely” he would delay an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.
Trump also suggested that that the US could slap 10% tariffs on Apple’s iPhones and laptops imported from China.
Chinese stocks fluctuated before finishing marginally lower. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index ended down 1.13 points at 2,574.68 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slid 0.2% to 26,331.96.
Japanese shares rose notably as a strong start to the holiday season spurred optimism about the US economy.
The Nikkei average rose 140.40 points or 0.6% to 21,952.40, after hitting as high as 22,000 for the first time since November 12 in early trade. The broader Topix index closed 0.7% higher at 1,644.16.
A weaker yen supported exporters, with Honda Motor, Toyota Motor, Sony and Panasonic rising 1% to 3%. Mitsubishi Motors rose 1.4% after ousting its chairman, Carlos Ghosn.
Line Corp surged 13% on reports that the mobile chat app operator will tie-up with Mizuho Financial Group Inc to establish a bank.
Australian markets recovered from a weak start to close near day’s highs. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rallied 56.70 points or 1.0% to close at 5,728.30, while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 53.20 points or 0.9% at 5,802.80.
Mining heavyweight BHP climbed 1.5% after announcing it has found new mineral deposits near an existing mine in Australia.
An overnight rally in oil prices helped lift energy stocks, with Oil Search, Beach Energy and Santos rising 1% to 2%. The big four banks rose 1% to 2% after recent heavy losses.
Harvey Norman Holdings jumped 3%. The homewares and electricals retailer said that comparable sales at its wholly or majority-owned stores rose 3% during the period from July 1 to November 23.
Seoul stocks closed higher as investors awaited the upcoming Trump-Xi meeting on the sidelines of G-20 summit in Argentina. The benchmark Kospi rose 16.40 points or 0.8% to finish at 2,099.42. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics gained 1.1% and chemical firm LG Chem jumped 2.4%.
Automaker Hyundai Motor soared as much as 6.2% after General Motors announced a massive restructuring, helping ease concerns over competition in the industry. Its affiliate Kia Motors advanced 2.6% and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis added 4.5%.
Investors shrugged off a central bank survey showing that a gauge of South Korea’s consumer sentiment fell to a 21-month-low in November.
New Zealand shares closed slightly higher, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ending up 11.45 points or 0.1% at 8,673.82, led by healthcare stocks.
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose over 1% to extend gains from the previous session after delivering a record profit for the six months ended September. Peer Ryman Healthcare advanced 1.6%.
In economic news, New Zealand posted a merchandise trade deficit of NZD1.295 billion in October, Statistics New Zealand said – representing 27% of exports. That missed expectations for a shortfall of NZD850 million.
Singapore’s Straits Times index was down 0.2% even as official data showed the country’s manufacturing output rose strongly in October after falling in the previous month.
Manufacturing output grew 4.3% year-on-year following a 0.1% fall in September, which was revised from 0.2%. Economists had expected a 2.9% gain.
Overnight, US stocks rebounded after four consecutive sessions of losses as tech shares bounced back and investors cheered robust retail sales figures tied to Cyber Monday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 1.5%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.1% and the S&P 500 added 1.6%.