By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets slipped in early trading Wednesday amid growing pessimism over U.S.-China trade talks scheduled later this week.
Late Monday, the U.S. blacklisted 28 Chinese companies, including artificial-intelligence companies because of their alleged role in human-rights violations against the Uighur Muslim minority. And Tuesday, the U.S. announced visa restrictions against Chinese officials believed involved in abuses if Uighurs. Bloomberg News also reported the Trump administration may move to cap the flow of U.S. capital into Chinese companies.
In response, China’s Commerce Ministry issued a statement saying the U.S. should “stop interfering” in its internal affairs. “China will also take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard China’s own interests,” a Commerce Ministry spokesperson said, according to CNBC .
“With the recent U.S. trade war escalation headlines . . . it suggests from President Trump’s perspective that at this stage of the election process a trade deal this week, will not offer up a significant enough policy victory that he needs to bolster his polling numbers against the gale-force economic and political headwinds he’s facing stateside,” Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, wrote in a note. “So, it’s back on the trade-war offensive. Frankly, it’s incredible how my times the markets get sucked back into the trade-war calm only to end up back in trade-war purgatory.”
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.18% fell 0.7% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.74% retreated 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.22% inched up slightly, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +0.95% was about flat. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.02% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.18% , Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI +1.08% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.79% were largely down. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.63% fell 0.8%. South Korea’s Kospi was closed for a holiday.
Among individual stocks, SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +0.10% fell in Tokyo trading, along with oil producer Inpex /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 -1.84% and e-commerce company Rakuten /zigman2/quotes/201861450/delayed JP:4755 -5.24% . In Hong Kong, Hang Seng Bank /zigman2/quotes/201710108/delayed HK:11 -2.96% fell, as did Apple component maker Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 -0.78% and casino operator Galaxy Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/202884203/delayed HK:27 -0.19% . Foxconn /zigman2/quotes/204111604/delayed TW:2354 +0.37% declined in Taiwan and in Australia, Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT +1.25% and BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -1.48% fell.