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Asian Markets Mixed Amid Cautious Trades

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Asian stock markets are mixed on Monday with investors treading cautiously as trade-related tensions remained in focus after U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly withdrew his support for a joint communique at the conclusion of the weekend G7 summit. Investors are also looking ahead to Trump's historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set to take place in Singapore on Tuesday.

The Japanese market recovered after a weak start and is modestly higher following the positive cues from Wall Street on Friday and as Japan's core machine orders data for April topped expectations.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 84.09 points or 0.37 percent to 22,778.59, after touching a low of 22,667.30 in early trades.

Among the major exporters, Panasonic is adding 0.4 percent and Sony is rising more than 1 percent, while Canon and Mitsubishi Electric are edging down less than 0.1 percent each.

Automaker Toyota is down 0.3 percent, while Honda is adding 0.5 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by 0.3 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is declining almost 1 percent.

Among oil stocks, Inpex is declining more than 1 percent and Japan Petroleum Exploration is down 0.3 percent after crude oil prices edged lower Friday.

Among the market's best performers, J Front Retailing is gaining almost 3 percent, while FamilyMart UNY Holdings and Ajinomoto Co. are rising more than 2 percent each.

On the flip side, Sekisui House is losing more than 6 percent, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is lower by almost 5 percent and Tokyo Dome Corp. is down more than 3 percent.

In economic news, the Cabinet Office said that core machine orders in Japan soared a seasonally adjusted 10.1 percent on month in April, coming in at 943.1 billion yen. That topped expectations for a gain of 2.4 percent following the 3.9 percent decline in March.

The Bank of Japan said that the M2 money stock in Japan was up 3.2 percent on year in May, coming in at 1,003.2 trillion yen. That was unchanged from the April reading following a downward revision from 3.3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 109 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, New Zealand and Taiwan are lower, while South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong are modestly higher. The markets in Australia are closed for the Queen's Birthday holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Friday as traders kept a close eye on developments out of the G7 summit in Canada. The Dow climbed 75.12 points or 0.3 percent to 25,316.53, the Nasdaq inched up 10.44 points or 0.1 percent to 7,645.51 and the S&P 500 rose 8.66 points or 0.3 percent to 2,779.03.

The European markets moved mostly lower on Friday. While the French CAC 40 Index closed just above the unchanged line, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index fell by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil inched lower Friday as the dollar strengthened on safe have demand amid a breakdown in trade relations between the U.S. and its closest allies. West Texas Intermediate oil for July dipped $0.21 or 0.3 percent to close at $65.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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