• By The Financial District


Shares were mixed in Asia on Monday following a report that the US is preparing to slap sanctions on a dozen more Chinese officials, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing.

Benchmarks dropped in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai but rose in Sydney and Seoul, Elaine Kurtenbach reported for Reuters. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% to 3,699.12, notching its third all-time high this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.8%, to 30,218.26, also a record. The Nasdaq picked up 0.7%, to a record 12,464.23.

China reported Monday that its politically sensitive trade surplus soared to a record $75.4 billion in November as exports surged 21.1% over a year earlier, propelled by strong demand from American consumers. Exports to the US rose 46% despite lingering tariff hikes in a trade war with Washington.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.4% to 26,474.06 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.8% to 26,547.44. The Shanghai Composite index sank 0.8% to 3,416.60. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.5% to 2,745.44 and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.6% to 6,675.00. A report by Reuters citing unnamed sources said the US departments of State and Treasury were preparing economic sanctions on a dozen more Chinese official in response to Beijing’s crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong. The report could not immediately be confirmed.