Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday, as concerns China’s economic recovery is losing steam and signs of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing offset investor optimism over the agreement of a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and avert default in the world’s largest economy.
Investors were also wary that proposed spending cuts in the debt ceiling deal could weigh on U.S. economic growth. Voting on the bill is set to start later this week in the House and the Senate.
The dollar held near a two-month high, and gold struggled for direction near two-month lows, while oil gave up earlier gains amid uncertainty over the outcome of upcoming OPEC+ policy meeting.
Chinese shares hit five-month low before recovering losses to finish marginally higher for the day.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite closed up 2.76 points or 0.1 percent at 3,224.21 after China reportedly declined a U.S. invitation for a meeting between U.S. defense secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese defense minister Li Shangfu at a forum in Singapore later this week.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index reversed early losses to end 0.2 percent higher at 18,595.78.
Japanese shares eked out modest gains, with the Nikkei 225 Index edging up 0.3 percent to close at 31,328.16. The broader Topix Index finished marginally lower at 2,159.22 as caution prevailed ahead of U.S. jobs and manufacturing data due later in the week. Honda Motor, Nissan and Advantest rose 1-2 percent.
Seoul stocks rallied as traders returned to their desks after a long holiday weekend. The Kospi climbed 1.0 percent to 2,585.52 as U.S. default worries eased.
An artificial intelligence boom continued to drive gains for chip stocks, with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix rising 2.8 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Automaker Hyundai Motor fell 2.4 percent and its affiliate Kia lost 2.1 percent.
Australian markets ended a choppy session slightly lower, dragged down by financials. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.1 percent to 7,209.30 after a handful of Republican lawmakers said they would oppose a deal to raise the United States’ $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.
The broader All Ordinaries Index closed 0.1 percent lower at 7,387.30 ahead of April inflation data due on Wednesday.
Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 Index dropped 0.5 percent to 11,878.71.
U.S. stock markets were closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.
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