Asia stocks mixed ahead of Trump and Kim's meeting in Vietnam

  • Shares in China closed mixed.
  • Stocks in Japan, South Korea and Australia gained on the day.
  • Shares in India were hit by another wave of uncertainty following renewed tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are set to meet later today in Vietnam for the second time in less than a year, where talks will take place in a bid to convince Pyongyang to end its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Wednesday ahead of a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.

The mainland Chinese markets were mixed by the end of their trading day, with the Shanghai composite advancing around 0.42 percent to 2,953.82 and the Shenzhen component declining 0.916 percent to 9,005.77. The Shenzhen composite slipped 0.567 percent to 1,540.92.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index also declined about 0.15 percent in its final hour of trading.

Meanwhile, shares in India were hit by another wave of uncertainty following renewed tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad. The Nifty 50 slipped around 0.59 percent while the Indian rupee shed about 0.5 percent against the greenback at 71.301.

Other major Asian stock markets, however, saw gains on the day.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent to close at 21,556.51 while the Topix advanced 0.2 percent to finish its trading day at 1,620.42. Shares of Fast Retailing, the company behind the Uniqlo chain of apparel stores, gained 2.67 percent.

South Korea's Kospi also added 0.37 percent to close at 2,234.79, as Hyundai Motor shares surged 5.31 percent after the company rejected on Tuesday a payout call by activist investor Elliot Management.

The ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.36 percent to close at 6,150.30, with majority of the sectors advancing.

Trump and Kim to meet in Vietnam

Trump and Kim are set to meet later today in Vietnam for the second time in less than a year, where talks will take place to try and convince Pyongyang to end its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Experts say, however, they don't have high expectations from this week's meeting, set to take place in Hanoi on Wednesday and Thursday.

"We had a ... vague but productive statement coming out of Singapore but nobody is willing, I think, to hear the same kind of ... not concrete response this time around," Christopher Green, senior adviser for the Korean Peninsula at the International Crisis Group told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday. Trump and Kim first met in Singapore in 2018.

"We need to ... bring that into a new level, to evolve that statement and make it more concrete," Green added.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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Powell says US economy is 'healthy'

Overnight on Wall Street, stocks stateside slipped amid disappointing earnings, mixed U.S. economic data as well as a testimony from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Powell delivered his testimony to a U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday, where he noted the U.S. economic outlook was "generally favorable" but warned of headwinds from overseas.China and Europe are particular areas of concern, and the Fed is watching how Brexit negotiations and trade talks play out.

"The implicit message would appear to be that if the US and China can achieve a trade deal and global growth and markets rebound, then the Fed might again consider rate hikes," Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank, said in a morning note.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.115 after seeing highs above 96.4 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.36 against the dollar after strengthening from lows above 111.0 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7178 after seeing lows below $0.715 in the previous session.

Oil prices rose in the afternoon of Asian trading hours. The international benchmark Brent crude futures contract gained 0.54 percent to $65.56 per barrel. The U.S. crude futures contract added 0.79 percent to $55.94 per barrel.

— CNBC's Huileng Tan and Jeff Cox contributed to this report.