Bulletin
Investor Alert

Asia Markets

March 19, 2019, 11:48 p.m. EDT

Asian markets largely down as investors take wait-and-see approach

Traders await Fed meeting amid conflicting signals on U.S.-China trade talks

By Marketwatch and Associated Press


Bloomberg News
The Tokyo Tower, center, stands illuminated at night in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Asian markets were mostly down in lackluster trading early Wednesday, as investors processed mixed signals on U.S.-China trade talks and awaited the Fed’s meeting later in the day.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that some U.S. officials were worried that China was reneging on trade concessions and that Chinese negotiators have recently pushed back because the U.S. has not sufficiently assured them that tariffs will be lifted if a trade deal is made. But later in the day, the Wall Street Journal reported that talks were in their final stages, and top U.S. officials would fly to Beijing next week for more talks, with the goal of closing a deal by the end of April.

Japan’s Nikkei (NIKKEI:JP:NIK)   was about flat, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HONG:HK:HSI)   slipped 0.4%. The Shanghai Composite (SHG:CN:SHCOMP)   was down 0.6%, and South Korea’s Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721)   declined 1%. Singapore’s benchmark index (SES:SG:STI)   retreated, while Taiwan’s   inched up. Stocks in Australia (S&P:AU:XJO)   were down slightly.

Among individual stocks, Sony (TKS:JP:6758)   and Nintendo  tumbled in Tokyo trading after Google unveiled its new streaming videogame service, Stadia. In Hong Kong, PetroChina (HKG:HK:857)   rose while property companies such as China Overseas Land & Investment (HKG:HK:688)   and China Resources Land (HKG:HK:1109)   fell. Samsung (KRX:KR:005930)  slipped in South Korea while LG Electronics (KRX:KR:066570)   advanced. Fortescue Metals (ASX:AU:FMG)   sank in Australia, along with fellow mining stocks Rio Tinto (ASX:AU:RIO)   and BHP (ASX:AU:BHP)  .

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.