Investors Take in U.S.-China Talks, Stocks Mixed

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday as investors reacted to a virtual meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 31.32 points, or 0.1%, to 29,808.12,

The Japanese yen traded at 114.21 per U.S. dollar, weaker than levels below 113.9 seen against the greenback yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng sprang up 322.87 points, or 1.3%, to 25,713.78.

Shares of gaming hardware firm Razer in Hong Kong surged 11.5% after Reuters reported, citing sources, that executives at the firm are leading a consortium plan to value the company at up to 35 billion Hong Kong dollars (about $4.49 billion U.S.).

Australian stocks declined after the Reserve Bank of Australia’s governor pushed back against calls for a rate hike next year.

"The latest data and forecasts do not warrant an increase in the cash rate in 2022," said RBA Governor Philip Lowe, responding to expectations that most advanced economy central banks will raise interest rates by the end of 2022. Investors have been watching for clues on when major central banks could raise policy interest rates amid inflation concerns.

Minutes from the Australian central bank’s November monetary policy meeting minutes released Tuesday showed the RBA expecting to hold steady on the cash rate till 2024.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7338 following an earlier high of $0.7368.

CHINA

In China, the CSI 300 eked higher 0.94 points to 4,883.32.

The virtual meeting between Biden and Xi, which marked the closest communication between the two leaders since Biden took office in January, kicked off on a positive note with cordial remarks. Following the meeting, public statements emphasized ways for the two economic powerhouses to avoid conflict, though points of tension were noted.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex jumped 58.66 points, or 0.3%, to 17,693.13

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index deducted 1.78 points, or 0.1%, to 3,238.80

In Korea, the Kospi index dropped 2.31 points, or 0.1%, to 2,997.21

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 fell 61.75 points, or 0.5%, to 12,902.71.

In Australia, the ASX 200 slid 49.67 points, or 0.7%, at 7,420.44.