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Asia stocks mixed on fresh developments in Sino-US trade spat

Asia stocks mixed on fresh developments in Sino-US trade spat

Asian shares were trading mixed on Monday in morning session as investors remained cautious following fresh developments in the ongoing tensions between the US and China.

China’s Shanghai composite saw gains of 0.25%, while the Shenzhen composite slipped 0.19%. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.5% in early trade.

 Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.44% while the Topix index added 0.14%. Stocks rose in Japan in response to the trade data that showed the country's exports rising 8.2% in October from a year earlier, reversing the decline seen in September.

South Korea's Kospi rose 0.34%, while Australia's benchmark ASX 200 slipped 0.68% in afternoon trade, with most sectors seeing losses. Energy stocks declined 1.34% while the heavily weighted financial subindex was down more than 1%.

Investors remained cautious as Sino-US tensions were clearly on display at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea over the weekend, where leaders failed to agree on a communique for the first time ever.

US Vice-President Mike Pence said in a blunt speech that there would be no end to US tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods until China changed its ways.

In company news, Australian newspaper publisher Fairfax Media bucked the overall trend to jump 2.44% after the company's chairman, Nick Falloon, said that the proposed merger with television network Nine Entertainment received "overwhelming support from shareholders." Nine Entertainment shares rose 2.76%.

In currency news, the US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.437 after last Friday's fall from the 97 handle.

The Japanese yen, widely viewed as a safe-haven currency, was at 112.70 against the dollar after seeing lows above 114.1 last week.

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