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Asian Markets Mixed Amid Possible Second Trump-Kim Summit


Asian stock markets are mixed on Tuesday following the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street amid the absence of any fresh developments in U.S.-China trade tensions.

Optimism about a potential second U.S.-North Korea summit also boosted sentiment. The White House said that President Donald Trump has received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un calling for a second meeting between the two leaders. The U.S. is "open" to a second summit and talks are underway to make it happen.

The Australian market is advancing with modest gains. Weakness in mining stocks was offset by gains in banks and oil stocks.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 4.50 points or 0.07 percent to 6,146.20, off a high of 6,158.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 6.30 points or 0.10 percent to 6,256.00.

In the banking sector, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking are higher in a range of 0.1 percent to 0.7 percent, while Westpac is down 0.2 percent.

Oil stocks are also mostly higher despite crude oil prices extending losses overnight to a fourth straight session. Oil Search is advancing more than 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.6 percent, while Santos is lower by 0.3 percent.

The major mining stocks are mostly lower. BHP Billiton is declining more than 1 percent and Rio Tinto is down 0.4 percent, while Fortescue Metals is adding 0.1 percent.

Among gold miners, Newcrest Mining is losing almost 1 percent and Evolution Mining is lower by more than 1 percent after gold prices declined overnight.

In economic news, Australia will see August numbers for the indexes for business conditions and confidence from NAB.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.7107, down from $0.7113 on Monday.

The Japanese market is advancing, tracking the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street and a weaker yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is rising 186.24 points or 0.83 percent to 22,559.33, after touching a high of 22,592.81 earlier. Japanese shares snapped a six-day losing streak to close higher on Monday.

The major exporters are higher on a weaker yen. Sony is rising more than 1 percent, Panasonic is advancing almost 1 percent, Canon is adding 0.3 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is edging up less than 0.1 percent.

Shares of Renesas Electronics are gaining more than 3 percent after the chipmaker said it has agreed to acquire U.S.-based Integrated Device Technology Inc. for about $6.7 billion.

Altaba, which currently owns 1.36 billion shares of Yahoo Japan, said it will sell its entire stake in the company for 354 yen per share. Shares of Yahoo Japan are losing more than 1 percent.

In the auto space, Toyota is adding more than 1 percent and Honda is up 0.4 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is higher by 0.3 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down 0.2 percent.

Among oil stocks, Inpex is rising 0.3 percent and Japan Petroleum is advancing 1 percent after crude oil prices extended losses to a fourth straight session overnight.

Among the major gainers, Tokai Carbon is rising 4 percent, Sumitomo Dainippon is gaining almost 4 percent and Daiichi Sankyo is higher by more than 3 percent.

On the flip side, Pacific Metals and JGC Corp. are losing more than 2 percent each, while Konami Holdings is lower by almost 2 percent.

On the economic front, the Bank of Japan said that the M2 money stock in Japan was up 2.9 percent on year in August, coming in at 1,006.1 trillion yen. That was unchanged from the July reading following a downward revision from 3.0 percent.

The M3 money stock was up an annual 2.5 percent at 1,337.7 trillion yen - also unchanged from the previous month following a downward revision from 2.6 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 111 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand and Shanghai are also higher, while South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan are all lower. The markets in Malaysia and Indonesia are closed on Tuesday in observance of Awal Muharram.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Monday as traders seemed reluctant to make any significant moves amid a lack of major U.S. economic data. Traders also stayed on the sidelines amid lingering trade concerns after President Donald Trump ramped up trade tensions with China last Friday.

While the Dow edged down 59.47 points or 0.2 percent to 25,857.07, the Nasdaq rose 21.62 points or 0.3 percent to 7,924.16 and the S&P 500 inched up 5.45 points or 0.2 percent to 2,877.13.

The major European markets all closed higher on Monday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index closed just above the unchanged line, the German DAX Index edged up by 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices dropped on Monday, extending losses to a fourth straight session. WTI crude for October delivery ended down $0.20 or 0.3 percent at $67.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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