SINGAPORE – Equities in the Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday after a negative session on Tuesday as geopolitical tensions mounted between the US and China over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.14%.
South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.22% and the Kosdaq fell 0.13%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.38% and the Topix index was fractionally higher.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan fell 0.28%.
Pelosi arrived in Taiwan local time Tuesday night amid warnings from Beijing. Taiwan is a democratic self-governed island that China claims as a runaway province.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying tweeted that Pelosi’s visit was a “major political provocation”, while a spokesman for the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army said it had “started on the evening of Aug. military operations around the island of Taiwan”. “
Those operations included long-range live firing in the Taiwan Strait and launching conventional missile firepower tests, the statement said, calling them “severe deterrence” and a dire warning.
Ahead of the trip, stocks in Asia fell mainly on Tuesday as investors watched for developments. The Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component fell more than 3% at session lows.
In economic news, China’s Caixin Services Purchasing Managers’ Index data is expected today.