Asian markets mixed in lackluster trading

TOKYO — Shares were mixed Tuesday in Asia in mostly narrow trading in the absence of any major market-driving news.

The Nikkei 225 index NIK, +0.23%   added 0.2%. China’s Shanghai Composite index SHCOMP, +1.11%   was up 0.1% and the Hang Seng index HSI, +0.51%   in Hong Kong was about flat. South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.03%   swung between slight gains and losses, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.37%   rose 0.4%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +0.25%  , Singapore STI, +0.09%   and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.46%   advanced.

Among individual stocks, telecoms NTT Docomo 9437, +3.75%   and SoftBank Corp. 9434, +3.28%   rose in Tokyo trading, as did Sony 6758, +2.45%   and Fast Retailing 9983, +2.27%  . In Hong Kong, China Life Insurance 2628, +2.36%   and Ping An Insurance 2318, +1.67%   rose, while Apple component-maker Sunny Optical 2382, -3.12%   fell. Asiana Airlines 020560, +15.11%   surged for a second day in South Korea after its largest shareholder said it would sell its stake. Beach Energy BPT, -2.33%   fell in Australia.

Upbeat talk from the White House on trade negotiations with the China failed to lift Chinese shares. Meanwhile, China’s central bank, The People’s Bank of China, said it was adjusting its monetary policy to coordinate with government spending.

Earlier, Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said trade protectionism is the biggest risk to the global economy, CNBC reported.

“Market moves have become more muted ahead of the Easter holidays, while liquidity is also expected to be poorer,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. “PBOC stated that some positive changes are seen in structural adjustments of the economy in the first quarter, but uncertainties remain,” it said.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index edged lower, weighed down by bank shares after

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