November 29, 2019 / 2:29 AM / 16 days ago

Tokyo shares flat as market awaits more cues on U.S.-China trade

TOKYO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Japanese shares were little moved on Friday, and were set to post a third consecutive month of gains, though investors awaited more assurance that U.S. legislation backing Hong Kong protesters would not derail a prospective U.S.-China trade deal.

The benchmark Nikkei average was virtually flat at 23,408.04 in late-morning trade but was on track to post a 2.1% rise for the month. For the week, it was on track to log a 1.2% gain, to mark its first weekly rise in three weeks.

U.S. S&P 500 mini futures were last down 0.2%. New York markets were shut on Thursday for Thanksgiving holiday and with many investors kept to the sidelines on Friday, waiting to see how U.S. markets perceive the latest clash between Washington and Beijing over Hong Kong.

China warned the United States on Thursday it would take "firm counter measures" in response to U.S. legislation backing anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

"The question is what real actions Beijing will take. The working assumption for most investors is that this will not derail the trade talks, given China is suffering from an economic slowdown," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

Against the yen, the dollar last traded at 109.50 yen , not far from its six-month peak of 109.61 marked on Wednesday, supporting exporters as a softer yen boosted overseas corporate profits.

Struggling industrial conglomerate Toshiba Corp jumped 2.8%, Sony Corp rose 0.8%, while Mitsubishi Motors Corp added 1.0%.

Panasonic Corp advanced 2.4% after the electronics giant said it would sell its loss-making semiconductor unit to Taiwan's Nuvoton Technology Corp for $250 million.

The broader Topix stood flat at 1,707.65.

Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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