Asia Markets: Nikkei jumps, but other Asian markets remain sluggish

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Asian stock markets were mostly down in early trading Tuesday, after the S&P 500 SPX, +0.19%    and Nasdaq COMP, +0.27%  snapped a four-session losing streak and the White House announced a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was in the works.

Japanese stocks were one of the few standouts in the region, as the Nikkei NIK, +0.99%   gained nearly 1%, with domestic-demand sectors like pharma, food and cosmetics leading the way. That came as concerns eased about impacts from last week’s typhoon and earthquake. But trade uncertainty also helped those sectors. Drug maker Daiichi Sankyo 4568, +3.61%   was up 3%, with beverage firm Kirin Holdings 2503, +2.15%   and cosmetics producer Shiseido 4911, +1.94%  each up around 2%. Meanwhile, Yahoo Japan 4689, -1.35%   was down 1.3% as major stakeholder Altaba announced plans to sell.

Hong Kong stocks were slightly lower, as the Hang Seng HSI, -0.57%   slid to the cusp of bear-market territory. The benchmark may stay below 27,000 for a while amid a weak yuan and Hong Kong dollar and because of trade worries, said KGI Securities, as well as the lingering fears over the trade war. Insurer AIA 1299, +1.70%   bounced 2% from yesterday’s seven-month closing low while Tencent 0700, -1.72%   was off another 1% as a Chinese online-poker game will be shut in two weeks. Macau casinos operators also continued to build on weakness, with Galaxy 0027, -5.88%   down more than 4%.

In mainland markets, the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.52%   was down 0.3% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.49%   was off about the same.

Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.36%   sank slightly, with chip firms Samsung 005930, -0.66%   and SK Hynix 000660, +0.26%   showing mixed results. In Taiwan, the Taiex Y9999, -0.38%   dipped, although Apple AAPL, -1.34%   suppliers Foxconn 2354, +0.41%   and Largan Precision 3008, +0.80%   made gains.

Australia’s ASX 200 XJO, +0.52%  , which is working its first eight-day skid since January 2016, was up slightly. Banks led the gains, as Moody’s said a combination of slowing credit growth and strong economic gains will ease risks associated with high household debts and underpin asset quality. After losses in seven of the past eight sessions, New Zealand’s benchmark NZ50GR, +1.42%   jumped more than 1%, led by A2 Milk ATM, +4.51%   and Ryman Healthcare RYM, +1.27%  .

After closing at an 18-month low Monday, Singapore’s Straits Times Index STI, -0.37%   dropped an additional 0.2%. Markets in neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia were closed for holidays.

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