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Asian shares up in muted trading after Trump visit to Japan

May 28, 2019
A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 27, 2019. Shares were mixed early Monday in Asia in the absence of fresh news on the tariffs standoff between the U.S. and China. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 27, 2019. Shares were mixed early Monday in Asia in the absence of fresh news on the tariffs standoff between the U.S. and China. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks mostly rose in muted trading Tuesday in the absence of major market-driving news on trade negotiations during the visit of President Donald Trump to Japan.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.4% in early trading to 21,274.60, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6% to 6,490.40. South Korea’s Kospi was little changed but inched up to 2,045.11. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3% to 27,375.16, while the Shanghai Composite rose nearly 0.6% to 2,908.40.

Trump was closing his state visit to Japan, which began Saturday. Market reaction to his comments was muted.

Trump pointed to the U.S.’s continuing “unbelievably large” trade imbalance with Japan, but he also said a trade deal was coming later this year, noting he expects it “sometime into the future.”

Markets in the United States were closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

“Against the backdrop of a lack of reaction towards President Donald Trump’s words and the vacuum of leads, Asia markets look to trade to its own tune from a mixed but muted start to Tuesday,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

Stocks rose in Europe on Monday, as pro-EU forces retained a majority in the 28-nation bloc’s parliament despite the rise of nationalist parties in a region-wide vote. Britain’s exchange remained closed for a bank holiday.

In the European election, far right and populist parties were among the biggest winners, as voters voiced concerns over immigration and security.

Worries about trade friction between the U.S. and China, as well as the friction between the U.S. and Japan, continue to linger.

The 11th round of U.S.-China trade talks ended with no agreement. Instead, the U.S. moved to increase tariffs on Chinese goods, prompting China to reciprocate.

ENERGY:

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 55 cents to $59.18 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 6 cents to $68.71 per barrel.

CURRENCIES:

The dollar slipped slightly to 109.48 yen from 109.53 yen on Monday. The euro edge down to $1.1182 from $1.1193.

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