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Asian shares mixed amid ongoing worries about US-China trade

Business
James Denaro, Anthony Rinaldi

FILE – In this Aug. 13, 2019, file photo specialists James Denaro, left, and Anthony Rinaldi work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 15. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mixed Friday as turbulence continued on global markets amid ongoing worries about U.S.-China trade conflict.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 recouped early losses to be up 0.3% at 20,456.96 in morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched down nearly 0.1% to 6,402.40, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.8% to 1,923.56. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.8% to 25,701.58. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.7% to 2,834.85.

On Wall Street Thursday, stock indexes were flipping between gains and losses until a late-day bounce gave the market a modest gain. Worries about a possible recession collided with hopes that the strongest part of the U.S. economy — shoppers spending at stores and online — can keep going.

The major U.S. stock indexes spent much of the day reacting to big moves in U.S. government bond yields, which fell sharply in the early going, fluctuated for much of the day, and then recovered some of their decline by mid-afternoon.

U.S. government bonds have been among the loudest and earliest to cry out warnings about the economy.

The S&P 500 rose 7 points, or 0.2%, to 2,847.60. The benchmark index swung between a 0.6% gain and 0.5% loss. A day earlier, it plunged 2.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, coming off its worst day of the year, gained 99.97 points, or 0.4%, to 25,579.39. The Nasdaq composite dropped 7.32 points, or 0.1%, to 7,766.62, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 5.87 points, or 0.4%, to 1,461.65.

Markets around the world have jerked up and down for weeks. Prices for everything from stocks to gold to oil have been heaving as investors flail from one moment of uncertainty around Trump’s trade war to another around what central banks will do with interest rates.

President Donald Trump again defended his trade war and said a resolution with China has “got to be a deal, frankly, on our terms.”

After being hopeful earlier this year that a trade agreement may be imminent between the world’s two largest economies, investors are increasingly digging in for the tensions to drag on for years.

“Nonetheless, the wider point is that with U.S.-China uncertainties still elevated, we are acutely aware that signs of risk aversion being reined in must not be mistaken for risk eliminated,” said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

ENERGY:

Benchmark U.S. crude added 62 cents to $55.09. It fell 76 cents to $54.47 per barrel Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 48 cents to $58.71.

CURRENCIES:

The dollar was little changed at 106.20 Japanese yen, compared to 106.23 yen Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.1103 from $1.1150.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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