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Asian Markets Decline as U.S. Files Charges Against Huawei Ahead of Trade Talks

Investing.com - Asian markets slipped in morning trade on Tuesday amid reports that the U.S. Department of Justice filed criminal

Investing.com - Asian markets slipped in morning trade on Tuesday amid reports that the U.S. Department of Justice filed criminal charges against China’s Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is the daughter of the company’s founder and president Ren Zhengfei.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Composite fell 0.5% and 0.9% by 10:30 AM ET (02:30 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was also down 0.6%.

The Justice Department announced the charges on Monday, accusing Huawei of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker confirmed during a press conference that the Justice Department is seeking the extradition of Meng Wanzhou from Canada.

"We plan to file our formal extradition request and all the necessary documentation under the extradition treaty in the appropriate time frame," Whitaker said. There is a Jan. 30 deadline for the request to be submitted.

In response to the incident, China said the indictment against the telecom giant is “unfair and immoral,” Reuters reported citing a spokesman at the Industry and Information Technology Ministry.

The news dealt a blow to the prospects of a long-awaited Sino-U.S. trade deal, as the two sides prepared to hold another round of trade discussions this week in Washington. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is set to meet the U.S. delegation led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday and Thursday.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.6%. ANA Holdings Inc (T:9202) made headlines after Reuters reported the company said it was considering an order of Boeing (NYSE:BA) jets. Japan is reportedly facing pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to cut its trade surplus with the U.S.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.2%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 was down 0.6%. The financial sector led the losses, with the ANZ Banking Group (AX:ANZ) falling 2.3%, the Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (AX:CBA) was down 1.4%, while the Westpac Banking Corp (AX:WBC) and the National Australia Bank Ltd (AX:NAB) slid 2.3% and 1.9% respectively.