Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Wednesday following the modest losses overnight on Wall Street as investors awaited further developments regarding the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
Investors digested comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that he was holding up a trade deal with China and will not proceed with new trade talks until Beijing returns to terms that were previously agreed upon.
Mainland Chinese shares slipped by the morning session’s end, with the Shanghai composite declining 0.6% and Shenzhen component shedding 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.8% by the afternoon as protests continued in the city on Wednesday over the contentious China extradition law. The Nikkei 225 in Japan traded lower by 0.2% in the afternoon, with shares of conglomerate and index heavyweight Softbank Group dropping more than 2%. Over in South Korea, the Kospi slipped 0.2%, while Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.1% as majority of the sectors saw gains.
Trump also put currency markets on edge by tweeting that the euro and other currencies were “devalued” against the dollar, putting the United States at a “big disadvantage”.
In commodity markets, all the chatter of rate cuts globally kept gold near 14-month highs at $1,329.86 per ounce. Oil prices eased as concerns about a global economic slowdown offset wagers that OPEC and its allies will extend their supply curbs.