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Asian Markets Mixed; U.S. Blacklists Huawei as Trade Tensions Continue to Flare

Investing.com - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Thursday as U.S.-China tensions remained in focus after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.4% and 0.2% respectively by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.1%.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order overnight that could restrict Chinese telecommunication firms Huawei and ZTE Corp (HK:0763) from selling their equipment in the U.S. Shortly afterward, the Department of Commerce said it had put Huawei and 70 affiliates to its “Entity List,” a blacklist that could forbid it from doing business with American companies.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that Trump backed the decision to "prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests."

Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics reported on Thursday that average new home prices in China's 70 major cities rose 0.6% in April, unchanged from the pace of growth in March. It was the 48th straight month of price gains.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.6%, while South Korea’s KOSPI was down 0.4%.

Auto stocks outperformed in morning trade, with KIA Motors (KS:000270) and Hyundai Motor (KS:005380) surging as much as 5% at one point, following reports that the U.S. may delay tariffs on the sector by up to six months. The news sent auto stocks in the U.S. higher overnight.

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