Asian markets were mostly higher Wednesday, led by gains in Chinese markets as officials promised to enact measures to boost the economy and cool trade tensions.

The Shanghai Composite index jumped 1.5 percent to 3,102.10 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 29,030.17. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.6 percent to 21,596.81 as a stronger yen hurt shares of export manufacturers.

Elsewhere in Asia, Australia’s S&P ASX 200 rose 0.8 percent to 6,245.60 and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2 percent to 2,175.60. India’s Sensex gained 0.5 percent to 36,605.15. Shares rose in Indonesia and Taiwan but fell in Singapore and Thailand.

A woman walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Asian markets were mostly higher Wednesday after a listless day of modest losses on Wall Street. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
A woman walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Asian markets were mostly higher Wednesday after a listless day of modest losses on Wall Street. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

China will bar government authorities from demanding overseas companies hand over technology secrets in exchange for market share, Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of the Cabinet’s economic planning agency told reporters at a news conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing.

The provision, to be contained in a foreign investment law to be presented to the rubber-stamp legislature, addresses complaints that China forces companies to share technology, a key issue in the trade war between the U.S. and China.

Meanwhile, traders are watching for new details on trade talks between the U.S. and China.

A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Asian markets were mostly higher Wednesday after a listless day of modest losses on Wall Street. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Asian markets were mostly higher Wednesday after a listless day of modest losses on Wall Street. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

“Examining the outlook, the market remains a trade driven one as we await the confirmation and details of the trade deal,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. “Past that, however, the latest set of announcements does affirm the Chinese authorities’ willingness to put policy into action to keep the market going.”

Overnight, stocks edged lower on Wall Street as losses in industrial, technology and financial stocks outweighed gains elsewhere.

The S&P 500 index edged 0.1 percent lower to 2,789.65. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also lost 0.1 percent, to 25,806.63. The Nasdaq composite was flat at 7,576.36. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 0.5 percent to 1,568.28.

People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Asian markets were mostly higher Wednesday after a listless day of modest losses on Wall Street. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Asian markets were mostly higher Wednesday after a listless day of modest losses on Wall Street. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

The U.S. and China have pulled back from an immediate escalation of their damaging trade war since they started negotiating last month. President Donald Trump postponed a deadline for raising tariffs on more Chinese goods, citing progress in a series of talks. Media reports on Monday suggested the nations could strike a deal this month.

ENERGY: U.S. crude slipped 43 cents to $56.13 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up 3 cents to settle at $56.56 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 40 cents to $65.46 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.79 yen from 111.87 yen on Tuesday. The euro weakened to $1.1300 from $1.1309.

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