HONG KONG: Asian markets were narrowly mixed Tuesday after Wall Street shrugged off trade tensions between the U.S. and China to end at its highest point in nearly a year.
The dollar clawed back some losses against the yen, while oil prices hovered below $69 a barrel.
The slight gains in some markets followed Wall Street, where major benchmarks bounced back after sliding early in the day as investors eyed a brewing trade dispute between the U.S. and China. But analysts said a full-out trade war was highly unlikely given how much is at stake for the two increasingly intertwined economies.
Global markets have recovered much of their losses since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. a year ago froze the financial system and deepened the world downturn.
With little in the way of economic data, company announcements and government policy changes to drive the markets, many investors were waiting for reasons to buy in the short term, said Andrew Orchard, Asian strategist for Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong.
"Liquidity is still strong, and until they remove the excess liquidity, there's a good chance of the markets will keep rising," Orchard said.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 stock average was up just 0.1 point at 10,202.16, and Shanghai's benchmark was off 0.1 percent at 3,022.94. Australia's index was fractionally lower. Hong Kong's stock market was closed in the morning following a typhoon.
Most other markets were higher, with Korea's Kospi adding 1 percent to 1,651.58 and India's Sensex rising 0.9 percent to 16,301.15. Taiwan's benchmark added 1.1 percent.
Overnight in the U.S., major benchmarks posted moderate gains, with Utility AES Corp. helping pull the market higher after The Wall Street Journal reported that China's investment arm is interested in buying a stake in the company.
The Dow rose 21.39, or 0.2 percent, to 9,626.80.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6.61, or 0.6 percent, to 1,049.34, an 11-month high. The Nasdaq composite index rose 10.88, or 0.5 percent, to 2,091.78.
U.S. markets were headed for a muted open. Dow futures were flat at 9,611 and S&P futures climbed 6.3, or 0.6 percent, to 1,047.90.
Oil prices were down modestly in Asia as investors weighed concerns about weak crude demand against optimism of a global economic recovery. Benchmark crude for October delivery fell 14 cents at $68.72. On Monday, the contract fell 43 cents to settle at $68.86.
The dollar gained to 91.05 yen from 90.89 yen. The euro fell to $1.4615 from $1.4627.