By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets fell in early trading Wednesday, following new doubts about a U.S.-China trade deal and ahead of an expected interest-rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
While U.S. officials, including President Donald Trump, in recent days had touted progress in trade talks, Reuters reported Tuesday that a “phase one” deal might not be ready to be signed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month. “Our goal is to sign it in Chile. But sometimes texts aren’t ready,” a U.S. official told Reuters.
Separately, China accused the U.S. of “bullying” over a proposed ban on Chinese telecom equipment in U.S. networks, and China’s ambassador to the United Nations suggested that U.S. criticism over human rights could impact trade talks.
Meanwhile, investors are awaiting the conclusion of the Fed’s two-day meeting, with many expecting the third rate cut of the year but uncertain if the central bank will signal further monetary easing in the future.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.85% fell 0.4% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.25% slipped 0.3%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.49% edged down 0.4 while the Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -0.15% slid 0.8%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.18% declined 0.4%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -1.12% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.22% , Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI -0.29% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.70% mostly rose slightly. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.26% fell 0.5%.
Among individual stocks, electronics company NEC /zigman2/quotes/205173342/delayed JP:6701 -1.45% slid in Tokyo trading, along with SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -1.47% and Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 -0.82% . In Hong Kong, Apple component maker AAC /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +0.25% fell, along with PetroChina /zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed HK:857 +2.00% . Chip maker SK Hynix /zigman2/quotes/206420319/delayed KR:000660 +1.57% retreated in South Korea while BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +1.17% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO +2.12% fell in Australia.