Asian shares mostly lower after fresh S&P 500 record high

(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO— Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday as the euphoria from President Donald Trump’s truce with China’s Xi Jinping on trade faded.

The retreat followed yet another all-time high for the S&P 500 index, though trading in U.S. markets has been subdued ahead of an early closure on Wednesday for the July 4 holiday.

The Shanghai Composite index sank 0.8% to 3,019.80 while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.8% to 21,587.40. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 0.2% to 28,810.60. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.2% to 2,097.40. But Australia’s S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.5% to 6,689.10 and the Sensex in India edged 0.1% higher to 39,837.36. Shares fell in Taiwan and most Southeast Asian markets.


Traders are waiting to see what will come from the latest truce in the U.S.-China trade war. They’re also looking ahead to a key government jobs report due out Friday, among other potential market-moving developments in the next few weeks.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Tuesday that China plans to lift foreign ownership limits in securities, futures and life insurance by 2020, a year earlier than originally scheduled.

“The post-G20 optimism remained short-lived,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya of London Capital Group said in a commentary, “as White House trade adviser Navarro reminded investors that agreeing on a trade deal between the U.S. and China will certainly take time, although the countries moved in the right direction at the latest G-20 summit.”

U.S. markets will close early on Wednesday for Independence Day. On Tuesday, stocks shook off an early wobble to eke out small gains Tuesday, nudging the S&P 500 index to an all-time high for the second straight day.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 2,973.01, the benchmark index’s seventh record high this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3% to 26,786.68. The Nasdaq composite added 0.2% to 8,109.09. Small-company stocks fell, sending the Russell 2000 index down 0.6% to 1,560.54.

Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China agreed over the weekend to resume trade talks. The United States also agreed not to impose additional tariffs on the world’s second-largest economy.

The detente is good news for markets, but tariffs in place have already hurt global economic growth, and investors see that the two sides still face the same differences that caused talks to break down earlier.

In commodities trading, benchmark crude oil gained 19 cents to $56.44 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $2.84 to settle at $56.25 a barrel overnight.

Brent crude, the international standard, added 19 cents to $62.59 per barrel. It lost $2.66 to close at $62.40 a barrel on Tuesday.

The dollar fell to 107.62 Japanese yen from 108.90 yen on Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.1289 from $1.1286.