Investing.com - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Friday. Sino-U.S. trade news were in focus again after China said that both sides have agreed to cancel some existing tariffs on each others’ goods.
China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component both gained 0.4% by 10:39 PM ET (02:39 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.4%.
Gao Feng, a spokesperson for China’s Commerce Ministry, said at a weekly briefing in Chinese that the U.S. and China have “agreed to remove the additional duties imposed on each other’s products in different phases after they make progress in reaching a deal.”
“Both sides should simultaneously undo existing additional tariffs in the same proportion to reach phase one deal, and that is an important condition for signing a preliminary agreement,” he said, adding that the two sides are still negotiating on how much of the tariffs should be removed.
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham echoed with Gao’s comments and said that the Trump administration is “very optimistic” the two sides “will reach a deal soon.”
In dollar terms, exports fell 0.9% during the month from a year earlier, less than the expected 3.9%. Imports were down 6.4%, also less than the forecast of 8.9%.
Trade balance came in at $42.81 billion.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was near flat. Index heavyweight Softbank Group Corp. (T:9984) rebounded 3.5% after plunging yesterday amid weak quarterly earnings report.
South Korea’s KOSPI traded 0.2% lower.
Down under, Australia’s ASX slipped 0.1%.