Asian equities mixed with Nikkei posting gains despite regional tensions

Asian Market 1

Asian equities were mixed in Monday trade despite heightened geopolitical tensions after a missile strike on a Syrian airfield last Friday ordered by President Donald Trump and a move by the US military to send an aircraft carrier group near the Korean Peninsula in response to recent provocations by North Korea.

North Korea responded to the strike by stating that it was a justification for its own nuclear weapons program, adding that it had to protect itself against Washington’s “reckless moves for a war.” In turn, a US Navy strike group is expected to move near the western Pacific Ocean and close to the Korean peninsula following North Korea’s multiple nuclear missile test launches this month.

The news did not weigh on Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which bounced 0.77 percent. The ASX 200 was higher by 0.58 percent, driven mostly by its utilities and energy sub-indexes.

The Kospi was down by 0.52 percent, with China-exposed stocks pressured following heightened tensions in the Korean peninsula. Shares for Lotte Shopping, the retail arm of conglomerate Lotte, fell by 1.59 percent, while shares of LG Electronics plunged 1.97 percent.

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