Investing.com – Asian markets were mixed in afternoon trade on Tuesday. As recent trade-related concerns seemed to have faded for now, traders' focus are likely to switch to economic data later this week. China’s data received some focus as the country’s producer price index topped forecasts in June and hit a six-month high.
Annual consumer inflation rate (CPI) rose 1.9% in June, in line with expectations, while producer price index (PPI) rose 4.7% in June from a year earlier, beating forecasts of a 4.5% increase, official data showed on Tuesday.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Monday that he believes his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un would honor an agreement they reached in Singapore last month to pursue denuclearization, but he hinted that China may be working against it.
"I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake. We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea," Trump tweeted. "China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!"
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said blaming Beijing for stumbling blocks in North Korea talks is “completely unreasonable.”
Trump’s tweet came one day after North Korea’s Foreign Ministry called a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “regrettable” and accused Washington of making “gangster-like” demands to pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons.
"The U.S. side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization,” an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesman said in statement a few hours after Pompeo’s departure.
In Asia, The Shanghai Composite slipped 0.3% while the SZSE Component climbed 0.2% by 1:30AM ET (05:30 GMT).
Japan’s Nikkei was 0.2% higher by 9:15PM ET (01:15 GMT), while South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 1.1%.
"No new news from the U.S.-Sino trade war has helped investors focus back on fundamentals and with the U.S. earnings season starting later this week, the U.S. has led the gains in equities overnight," Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign exchange strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a note.
Yahoo Japan Corp. (T:4689) made headlines on Tuesday as the company announced it is buying back around $2 billion worth of its shares from Softbank Group as part of a three-way deal with its top shareholders.
The deal will see Altaba, which was formerly the internet giant Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:AABA), sell down its stake in Yahoo Japan by around $2 billion and SoftBank raise its stake slightly in Yahoo Japan to around 48%.
Meanwhile, the resignation of U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made headlines as the news compounded the chaos in the U.K. government following the departures of Brexit Secretary David Davis and his deputy over the weekend.
Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3%.