Asian shares mixed amid ongoing worries about US-China trade

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Asian shares were mixed Friday as turbulence continued on global markets amid ongoing worries about US-China trade conflict.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 recouped early losses to be up 0.3 percent at 20,456.96 in morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched down nearly 0.1 percent to 6,402.40, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.8 percent to 1,923.56. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.8 percent to 25,701.58. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.7 percent to 2,834.85.

On Wall Street Thursday, stock indexes were flipping between gains and losses until a late-day bounce gave the market a modest gain. Worries about a possible recession collided with hopes that the strongest part of the US economy - shoppers spending at stores and online - can keep going.

The major US stock indexes spent much of the day reacting to big moves in US government bond yields, which fell sharply in the early going, fluctuated for much of the day, and then recovered some of their decline by mid-afternoon.

US government bonds have been among the loudest and earliest to cry out warnings about the economy.

The S&P 500 rose 7 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,847.60. The benchmark index swung between a 0.6 percent gain and 0.5 percent loss. A day earlier, it plunged 2.9 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, coming off its worst day of the year, gained 99.97 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,579.39. The Nasdaq composite dropped 7.32 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,766.62, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 5.87 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,461.65.

Markets around the world have jerked up and down for weeks. Prices for everything from stocks to gold to oil have been heaving as investors flail from one moment of uncertainty around Trump’s trade war to another around what central banks will do with interest rates.

President Donald Trump again defended his trade war and said a resolution with China has “got to be a deal, frankly, on our terms.”

After being hopeful earlier this year that a trade agreement may be imminent between the world’s two largest economies, investors are increasingly digging in for the tensions to drag on for years.

“Nonetheless, the wider point is that with US-China uncertainties still elevated, we are acutely aware that signs of risk aversion being reined in must not be mistaken for risk eliminated,” said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in Singapore.