Asian stocks rose on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would hold a two-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam at the end of February as part of a “bold new diplomacy.” However, Trump’s second State of the Union address lacked details on progress in U.S.-China trade talks.
Ahead of a fresh round of negotiations in Beijing next week, Trump said a new trade deal must include real structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce the chronic trade deficit and protect American jobs.
Japanese shares ended a tad higher as investors focused on Trump’s speech and corporate earnings. The Nikkei 225 Index edged up 29.61 points or 0.1 percent to 20,874.06, while the broader Topix closed marginally lower at 1,582.13.
Shiseido, which has big exposure to the Chinese market, jumped 4.6 percent after Estee Lauder boosted its full-year profit outlook on booming skincare sales in Asia.
Meanwhile, automaker Toyota Motor Corp shed 0.7 percent after its fiscal third quarter profit plunged, hurt by unrealized gains and losses in equity securities.
Suzuki Motor lost 4.3 percent and Sega Sammy Holdings slumped 11.9 percent on disappointing earnings updates.
Australian markets ended modestly higher despite disappointing results from Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 20.20 points or 0.3 percent to 6,026.10, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 23.70 points or 0.4 percent at 6,091.80.
Banks lost ground after strong gains in the previous session. Commonwealth Bank of Australia declined 1.4 percent after reporting a drop in half-year profit. The other three big banks fell between 1.2 percent and 1.7 percent.
On the other hand, Insurance Australia Group advanced 4.3 percent after its underlying earnings rose 16 percent.
Energy stocks turned in a mixed performance, while mining heavyweights BHP and Rio