1 week ago
Stock Market

Asian Stocks Kick off Thursday with Losses, Awaiting Sino-U.S. Trade Deal

Investing.com – Most Asian shares slid on Thursday morning as global economic growth concern widened and investors awaited news of

Investing.com – Most Asian shares slid on Thursday morning as global economic growth concern widened and investors awaited news of final results of Sino-U.S. trade talks.

In mainland China, Shanghai was up but Shenzhen and Hong Kong both down. Korea and Japan were in the red while Australia was in the green.

Overnight in the U.S., most major indices fell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.52% and the S&P 500 fell of 0.65%. Tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.93%.

The Shanghai Composite Index hit 3107.30, up 0.14%, by 9:30 AM ET (2:30 AM GMT), while the Shenzhen Component dipped 0.43% to 9658.39.

Investors are awaiting a final result of the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump is pushing for U.S. negotiators to close a Sino-U.S. trade deal soon,

U.S. market started the year with a strong rally fuelled by hopes of a trade deal between the world’s two biggest economies. Bloomberg quoted sources that said Trump had noticed the market gains following each progress of the talks and is concerned that the lack of an agreement will send stocks down.

"For some time, markets had been pricing in good news, namely that the talks between the U.S. and China will likely go well," said Tatsushi Maeno, senior strategist at Okasan Asset Management, according to Reuters. "Now markets are having a pause."

In China, the ongoing meeting of the National People’s Congress continues to attract attention. Policymakers have already lowered the target for economic growth in the country for this year to between 6% and 6.5%, providing a target “band” rather than the more specific goal of around 6.5% last year. Regulators also announced cuts to the value added tax (VAT), including a 3% to the top bracket, in a move that could help support manufacturing.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.23% at mid-morning to 28,969. Hong Kong stocks kicked off Thursday with marginal losses as global growth concerns continue to grow.

The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development cut forecasts again for the global economy in 2019 and 2020, which contributed to broader concerns over the slowing economic growth.

"Chinese macroeconomic data remains weak at the moment but I expect them to improve by the middle of the year," said Maeno in comments quoted by Reuters.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.67% to 21,452 and the Kospi in Korea was trading down 0.045% to 2,174.63.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.35% to 6,267.50.