Asian stocks trade mixed as US-China sign phase-one deal

Asian stocks are trading mixed even though the US stocks closed at record highs in the overnight trade on the conclusion of the US-China phase one deal.

Japan’s Nikkei index is trading flat and China’s Shanghai Composite index is reporting a 0.30% loss. Meanwhile, stocks in Hong Kong, Australia, and South Korea are flashing moderate gains.

The futures on the S&P 500 are also lacking a clear directional bias. The index notched a fresh record high Wednesday on trade optimism.

The US and China signed the phase-one trade deal on Wednesday. President Donald Trump said the “landmark” deal would benefit American farmers. Critics, however, believe the US gave away too much in the deal by including an option for China to quit the agreement should the US re-impose tariffs.

Nevertheless, the much-awaited trade truce has been reached. Even so, the Asian markets are struggling to rally strongly, possibly because the deal was priced in advance. “Given the amount of speculation by the markets and commentary by officials ahead of Wednesday’s signing, it is unsurprising markets have not rallied too strongly upon final signing,” said Hannah Anderson, a strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, according to Bloomberg.