Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Friday with modest gains as investors kept a cautious watch on the second round of trade talks between the U.S. and China. Blaming the trade policies of previous administrations, U.S. President Donald Trump said that China has become very spoiled and expressed doubts about whether the trade talks would be successful. Japanese Nikkei edged higher as a weaker yen lifted shares of exporters. On the economic front, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that overall nationwide consumer prices in Japan were up just 0.6 percent on year in April. That was shy of expectations for a gain of 0.7 percent and was down sharply from 1.1 percent in March. Core CPI was up 0.7 percent on year, beneath forecasts for 0.8 percent and down from 0.9 percent in the previous month. Among the other Asian markets, Malaysia, South Korea, Shanghai, Taiwan, Indonesia and Hong Kong are trading higher. Bucking the trend, Singapore is lower.
FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI rose 5.2 points or 0.28% to 1,859.64, KOSPI Index gained 6.35 points or 0.26% to 2,454.80, Shanghai Composite increased 8.69 points or 0.28% to 3,162.97, Taiwan Weighted jumped 14.34 points or 0.13% to 10,848.15, Jakarta Composite strengthened 19.79 points or 0.34% to 5,835.71, Hang Seng added 44.87 points or 0.15% to 30,987.02 and Nikkei 225 up by 92.16 points or 0.4% to 22,930.53.
On the flip side, Straits Times down by 13.93 points or 0.40% to 3,522.83.