Asia Markets

South Korea leads gains in mixed trading day for Asia Pacific stocks

Key Points
  • On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Donald Trump's administration wants to ban "untrusted" Chinese apps such as TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores. That development followed tensions between Washington and Beijing heating up in recent weeks
  • Meanwhile, a range of issues remains unresolved among lawmakers stateside in coronavirus relief negotiations, with the White House threatening to act on its own if it fails to reach a deal with Democrats.

Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed on Thursday as investors continued to monitor tensions between the U.S. and China.

South Korea's Kospi jumped 1.33% to close at 2,342.61 as shares of automaker Hyundai Motor soared 7.84%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 0.26% to about 3,386.46 while the Shenzhen component slipped 0.7% to around 13,863.13.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.69% lower at 24,930.58.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dipped 0.43% to close at 22,418.15 while the Topix index shed 0.31% to end the trading day at 1,549.88.

Shares in Australia edged higher as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.68% to close at 6,042.20.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was 0.41% higher.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump's administration wants to ban "untrusted" Chinese apps such as TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores. That development followed tensions between Washington and Beijing heating up in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, a range of issues remains unresolved among lawmakers stateside in coronavirus relief negotiations, with the White House threatening to act on its own if it fails to reach a deal with Democrats.

On the earnings front, Japanese automaker Toyota Motor reported that first-quarter net income attributable to the company plunged 74.3% from last year. Shares of Toyota jumped 2.29% on Thursday.

Shares of Singapore bank DBS Group rose 2.87% on Thursday after the firm reported a second-quarter net profit that beat estimates despite falling about 22% from last year. DBS said its profit for the second quarter came in at 1.25 billion Singapore dollars ($912.9 million). That compared against an average estimate of 1.19 billion Singapore dollars, according to Refinitiv data. 

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 92.851 in a volatile trading week that has seen it decline from levels above 93.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.58 per dollar after seeing an earlier high of 105.37 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7192 following its rise from levels below $0.715 this week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures were marginally lower at $45.15 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 0.66% to $41.90 per barrel.