BANGKOK — Share prices were mixed Friday in Asia ahead of the planned meeting by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit this weekend.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.4 percent to 22,348.56 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.7 percent to 26,633.88. The Shanghai composite index added 0.2 percent to 2,573.41 and India’s Sensex gained 0.5 percent to 36,365.55. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.2 percent to 2,109.99 while the S&P ASX/200 in Australia dropped 1.2 percent to 5,691.70. Shares rose in Taiwan and Singapore but fell in Indonesia.
G-20 SUMMIT: The working dinner meeting between Trump and Xi carries the potential for a breakthrough in a bruising trade war that has the U.S. and China imposing punitive tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s exports. Or not. Analysts are not optimistic about prospects for improvement a month before U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are due to ramp up.
CHINESE MANUFACTURING: A measure of China’s factory activity slipped to its lowest level in more than two years in November, adding to pressure on Beijing amid the tariff battle with Trump. The China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing said Friday its monthly purchasing managers’ index declined to 50 from October’s 50.2 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate activity is increasing. It blamed weak domestic demand for the latest decline. But investors often see such news as a signal more market-boosting stimulus may be coming.
KOREAN RATE HIKE: South Korea’s central bank lifted its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percent to 1.75%, in line with expectations. The first increase by the Bank of Korea in a year, it reflects concern over rising household debt and property prices.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks finished lower Thursday after