Major Asian stock markets declined Tuesday as traders looked ahead to a meeting between the American and Chinese presidents amid hopes for renewed trade talks.

The leaders of the U.S. and China are expected to meet on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan. Trade negotiators from the two nations recently have been in contact, discussing ways to resolve their disputes and “consolidate the important consensus” ahead of the summit, the Associated Press reported.

Benchmarks in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong declined. Seoul and Sydney were little-changed.

Investors were encouraged by the announcement that top U.S. and Chinese negotiators, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Vice Premier Liu He, talked Monday by phone. No details were released.

Traders looked ahead to a planned meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at this week’s Group of 20 meeting of major economies in Japan. Forecasters expect the leaders to reassure financial markets by agreeing to revive trade talks without a timeline or committing to any details.

The conflict over Beijing’s technology ambitions and trade surplus weighed on global trade amid fears it will depress global growth. Tensions have worsened after Washington tightened sanctions on Chinese tech giant Huawei.

“Both presidents have a very low bar of merely agreeing to resume trade talks, without having to iron out any of the sticking points at the G20,” said Chang Wei Liang of Mizuho Bank in a report.

The realities of achieving a settlement “will probably be relegated to the backseat as the ‘feel good’ factor of the G20 displaces caution,” Chang said.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, -0.71%

 fell 0.8% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, -1.50%

  retreated 1.3%. The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, -1.82%

  fell 1.8%. South Korea’s Kospi

180721, -0.40%

  dropped 0.4%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, -0.69%

 , and Singapore

STI, -0.22%

  fell as Indonesia’s

JAKIDX, +0.39%

  rose. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, -0.21%

  was down 0.2%.

Among individual stocks, Inpex

1605, -2.50%

  and Sony

6758, -2.14%

  fell in Tokyo trading, while Takeda Pharmaceutical

4502, +1.02%

  gained. In Hong Kong, Wharf Real Estate

1997, +1.08%

  rose while Tencent

700, -2.14%

  and Sands China

1928, -2.17%

  dropped. LG Electronics

066570, -1.60%

  declined in South Korea, and Taiwan Semiconductor

2330, -1.24%

  fell in Taiwan. Beach Energy

BPT, -1.03%

  and Oil Search

OSH, -1.46%

  sank in Australia.

Source link

2019-06-24