Beijing — Asian markets were mixed Monday before President Donald Trump planned to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and after his outburst at Canada’s prime minister over trade, AP reports.
KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.3 percent to 22,762.67 points while the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.4 percent to 3,053.26. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 31,033.74 and Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.3 percent to 2,460.12. Australian markets were closed for a holiday. Benchmarks in New Zealand and Taiwan retreated while Singapore advanced.
NORTH KOREA TALKS: U.S. and North Korean officials were preparing for a meeting Tuesday between Trump and Kim aimed at settling the standoff over the North’s nuclear arsenal. Pyongyang has said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with reliable security assurances and other benefits. But many say this is unlikely, because the weapons help to guarantee the survival of Kim’s government.
TRADE TENSIONS: Trump took more swipes at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, contending that “Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal.” Trump roiled the meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven major industrial economies by first agreeing to a group statement only to withdraw from it while complaining about Trudeau’s criticism of his tariff threats. After leaving Canada, Trump called Trudeau “dishonest” and “weak” on Twitter. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she found Trump’s tweet disavowing the G-7 statement “a little depressing.”
ANALYST’S TAKE: “The far from harmonious Quebec summit confirmed deep-seated G6+1’s expanding policy fissures on a plethora of significant concerns including climate change, the Iran nuclear deal and of course trade,” said Stephen Innes of currency trader Oanda in a report. “The Trump-Kim summit is the massive event that has a far-reaching regional implication. While the markets had low expectations going into G-7, assumptions are running high, so if the talks somehow go sideways, there could be a reasonably aggressive regional risk-off move.”
CENTRAL BANK WATCH: Investors looked ahead to meetings this week of major central banks. The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected announce an interest rate hike on Thursday. Also Thursday, the European Central Bank is expected to give more indications about whether it might bring forward a rate hike now expected in mid-2019. On Friday, the Bank of Japan is due to give its latest policy update.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks ended higher Friday, led by consumer products and health care companies. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.3 percent to 2,779.03. The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.3 percent to 25,316.53. The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.1 percent to 7,645.51.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 6 cents to $65.68 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 21 cents the previous session to close at $65.74. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 7 cents to $76.53 per barrel in London. It lost 86 cents the previous session to $76.46.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 109.48 yen from Friday’s 109.54 yen. The euro gained to $1.1799 from $1.1770.