1 month ago
Stock Market

Asian Stocks Mixed as Wall Street Declines on Weak Data; Trade Talks in Focus

Investing.com - Asian equities were mixed in morning trade on Friday after U.S. stocks closed lower following a stream of

Investing.com - Asian equities were mixed in morning trade on Friday after U.S. stocks closed lower following a stream of disappointing U.S. economic data.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component both edged up 0.1% by 11:15 PM ET (04:15 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.2%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 gained 0.4%. Shares of Australia's coal miners were under pressure after a Reuters report that China was banning the import of Australian coal in the northern port of Dalian.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 and South Korea’s KOSPI both traded 0.3% lower.

Sino-U.S. trade talks remained in focus on Friday after Reuters reported on Thursday that Washington and Beijing have begun drawing up memorandums of understanding over trade.

The two sides are trying to reach a trade deal before a March 1 deadline, when additional tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S. will go into effect.

On Friday, Reuters said U.S. and Chinese officials have struggled this week to overcome differences on specific language on issues related to structural changes in China’s economy, Reuters reported Citing sources familiar with the talks.

The issues include an enforcement mechanism to ensure that China complies with any agreements, the report said.

"It's not surprising that this week has been more challenging," said an industry source familiar with the talks that were cited by Reuters. "Once you move from putting together outlines to filling out the details, that is where things would naturally become more challenging."

U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the Oval Office on Friday, the White House said late on Thursday.

Separately, a pair of tweets posted by Trump on Thursday received some attention as he seemingly hinted that he might take a softer stance on Chinese telecom companies, including Huawei.

“I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies,” said the President.

CNBC said the tweet suggested that Trump is reconsidering a previously-announced ban on Chinese telecoms.

U.S. stocks ended lower on Thursday following the release of a set of weak data that showed a surprise slowdown in business spending and manufacturing activity.