06:47 AM EDT, 09/10/2019 (MT Newswires) -- Asian stock markets were mixed Tuesday after Beijing reported producer prices fell further in August but also as traders looked ahead to possibly improving China-US trade relations. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, after Asian exchanges closed Monday, told Fox News the US and China have a "conceptual" agreement on certain enforcement issues, ahead of high-level trade talks slated for October. Hong Kong was flat, Shanghai edged back, but Tokyo gained, and other regional exchanges were similarly uneven.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened higher and held ground, finishing up 0.35% as export issues gained on a softer yen. The benchmark Nikkei 225 marked six consecutive sessions of gains, rising 73.68 to 21,392.10, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 161 to 64.
Leading the upside was ball bearing manufacturer NSK (NPSKY, 6471:Tokyo), up 7.2%, followed by shipbuilder Mitsui E&S (MIESY, 7003:Tokyo) and Fukuoka Financial (FKKFF, 8354:Tokyo), up by 5.9% and 5.8%, respectively.
On the downside were drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo (DSKYF, 4568:Tokyo), off 7.2%, and real-estate outfit Tokyo Tatemono (TYTMY, 8804:Tokyo), off 5.7%.
In economic news, the number of South Korean tourists to visit Japan in July dropped 7.6% year-over-year, according to government data. Visitors from South Korea are the second-largest national group to visit Japan, topped only by Chinese, reported Japan Today. South Koreans are cutting back on visits to Japan following a diplomatic row over WWI reparations and the recent action by Tokyo to cut off certain exports to South Korea.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index opened higher but eased in trading, finishing up a scant 0.01% after a weak mainland China producer price report, and still-brewing concerns over street protests in the former Crown colony.
The broad gauge Hang Seng rose 2.28 to 26,683.68, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 22 to 21.
Leading the upside was China Unicom HK (762:HK), up 5.0%, then state-run investment firm Citic (267:HK), up 2.3%, followed by PetroChina (857:HK), up 2.2%.
On the downside were tool maker Techtronic (669:HK) off 2.5%, and then smartphone components maker Sunny Optical Technology (2382:HK), also off 2.5%.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.12% to 3,021.20.
In economic news, the mainland China producer price index for August fell 0.8% year-over-year, the National Bureau of Statistics reported, widening from the 0.3% decline in July. The consumer price index rose 2.8% in the same time frame.
On the other exchanges, the S. Korean Kospi rose 0.62%; the Taiwan TWSE declined 0.44%; the Australian ASX 200 fell 0.51%; the Singapore Straits Times Index inclined 0.30%, and the Thai Set fell 0.32%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up 0.44%.
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