Asia Markets: Asian markets inch forward amid U.S.-China friction

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Asian stocks were mostly higher in early trading Friday after gains on Wall Street, but investors continued to watch for news about U.S.-China trade friction.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225

NIK, +0.45%

  added 0.3%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, +0.43%

 gained 0.5% in early trading. South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, +0.18%

  rose 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng

HSI, +0.28%

  inched up 0.2%, while the Shanghai

SHCOMP, +0.08%

 as also up less than 0.1%. Shares were also higher in Indonesia

JAKIDX, -0.29%

  and Taiwan

Y9999, +0.83%

 .

Tech stocks, which took the brunt of losses Thursday, recovered. Samsung

005930, +1.36%

  gained 1%, while Tencent

0700, +3.09%

  bounced nearly 3% and Largan Precision

3008, +3.46%

  jumped 3.4%.

“Clouded with much uncertainty, markets will likely remain jittery and may struggle to hold on to the gains,” said Jayden Loh, a Trader at IG in Singapore.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 index

SPX, -0.15%

  fell 4.11 points, or 0.2%, to 2,695.95. The benchmark index had been down as much as 2.9%. The Dow

DJIA, -0.32%

  dropped 79.40 points, or 0.3%, to 24,947.67. The average briefly slumped as much as 784 points. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite

COMP, +0.42%

  reversed an early loss to finish with a gain, adding 29.83 points, or 0.4%, to 7,188.26.

U.S. benchmark crude

CLF9, -0.43%

  fell 24 cents to $51.25 a barrel. It dropped 2.6% to $51.49 a barrel in New York. Brent crude

LCOG9, -0.58%

 , used to price international oils, dipped 39 cents to $59.67.

After falling earlier, the dollar

USDJPY, +0.14%

  was last at 112.82 yen from 112.80 yen late Thursday.

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