Investing.com – Asian stock markets continued to trade in the red on Thursday afternoon without directional movers. The uncertainty whether the U.S. and China can strike a deal also weighed on market sentiment.
In China, the Shanghai Composite Index reversed morning gains and slid 0.31% to 3,092.86 in afternoon trade, while the Shenzhen Component went even lower to 9,619.52, down 0.83% by 12:33 AM ET (5:33 AM GMT).
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.70 % to 28,832.5.
The trade spat that remains unresolved between the U.S. and China has put the Asian markets down, though both sides are reported to end the trade talks soon.
“Right now, I think there’s just a lot of work in getting words down ... a contract or agreement, and that’s the current status,” Ted McKinney, undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, told the media.
Bloomberg reported that U.S. President Donald Trump is pushing for U.S. negotiators to close a Sino-U.S. trade deal soon ahead of the 2020 re-election campaign. Sources also 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.
In China, the ongoing meeting of the National People’s Congress continues to be the focus.
China’s finance minister Lui Kun said on Thursday that China would use tax cuts to prop up the slowing economy but reiterated that a proactive fiscal policy does not mean Beijing will open a floodgate of stimulus.
On Tuesday, Chinese policymakers lowered the target for economic growth in the country for 2019 to between 6% and 6.5%. They also announced cuts to the value added tax (VAT), including a 3% to the top bracket, in a move that could help support manufacturing.
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.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.80% to 21,428.5 and the KOSPI in Korea was trading down 0.61% to 2,161.62.
Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.21% to 6,263.90 despite losses posted across the region.