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Asian shares mixed on renewed jitters over trade friction

TOKYO — Asian shares were mixed on Wednesday, as Japan’s benchmark took a rest from a spate of recent jumps. Worries over a resurgence of trade tensions overshadowed regional markets.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.6 percent to 23,988.21, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.3 percent to 32,837.80. The Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1 percent higher to 3,531.75 and South Korea’s Kospi clawed back early losses to add 0.1 percent at 2,539.41. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 6,057.10. Shares fell in Taiwan and were mixed in Southeast Asia.

WALL STREET: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.2 percent to 2,839.13 while the Dow Jones industrial average was flat at 26,210.81. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite jumped 0.7 percent to 7,460.29. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 0.3 percent, to 1,610.71.

TECHNOLOGY RALLY: On Wall Street, Netflix, which said it picked up 8.3 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, soared $22.71, or 10 percent, to $250.29. Facebook rose $3.98, or 2.1 percent, to $189.35 and Google’s parent company Alphabet gained $12.01, or 1 percent, to $1,176.17. Online retailer Amazon climbed $35.23, or 2.7 percent, to $1,362.54.

THE QUOTE: “The leads for Asia markets remain positive, though after the record run seen on Tuesday, one would not be surprised with some profit-taking in play,” says Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

TRADE TROUBLES: President Donald Trump’s move Tuesday to tax imported solar cells and washing machines was denounced by China, Germany and Mexico and is likely to heighten tensions between the United States and its trade partners. Touchier trade cases lie ahead, involving China’s overproduction of steel and aluminum and its theft of trade secrets.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was flat at $64.47 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 90 cents, or 1.4 percent, on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 15 cents to $69.81.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slid to 109.93 yen from 110.32 yen late Tuesday in Asia. The euro edged up to $1.2316 from $1.2299.


AP Markets Writer Marley Jay, who contributed to this report, can be reached at

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