Asian stock markets were mixed early Wednesday, as rising oil prices and trade tensions continued to set the tone for trading
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.41% fell 0.5%, with oil consumers lagging on crude’s overnight pop following a U.S. official’s comments warning the world to end Iranian oil imports or face sanctions. Major shipper Mitsui OSK 9104, -3.33% was down 3.4% while airline operator ANA 9202, -1.55% fell 1.6%. Conversely, energy stocks were up with oil explorer Japan Petroleum Exploration 1662, +1.92% rising 1.9% and distributor JXTG 5020, +1.99% climbing 2%.
Chinese stocks opened little changed, a day after the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.00% hit fresh two-year lows and entered bear-market territory to join Shenzhen index 399106, +0.04% at least 20% below their most recent highs.
Hong Kong stocks started slightly higher, as the Hang Seng HSI, -0.02% looked to end its slump after closing down seven of the past nine days to hit six-month lows. Insurer AIA 1299, +0.37% was 0.4% higher, while energy stocks jumped, with CNOOC 0883, +5.88% 5.7% higher and PetroChina 0857, +2.11% up 1.9%.
China’s largest steel-trading platform filed an IPO application in Hong Kong, with Zhaogang.com said to be seeking to raise around $500 million. The move marks the third major Chinese company with a dual-class structure to seek a listing in Hong Kong following recent rule changes, following smartphone maker Xiaomi and Chinese tech startup Meituan.