Asian markets mixed after report that U.S., China will meet to talk trade

Asian markets were mixed early Wednesday after a report that the U.S. and China will to meet to discuss compliance with their phase-one trade deal.

Japan’s Nikkei 225
slipped 0.6% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index
edged up 0.7%. The Shanghai Composite
rose 0.2% while the Shenzhen Composite
gained 0.9%. South Korea’s Kospi
rose 1% while benchmark indexes in Taiwan
, Singapore
and Indonesia
were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
fell 0.5%.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that high-level talks between U.S. and Chinese officials will be held Aug. 15 to discuss China’s compliance with the trade deal signed in January. China has fallen short of the pace needed to fulfil a pledge to buy more U.S. farm products. China is also said to be likely to bring up concerns over the recent U.S. crackdown against Chinese tech companies.

Relations between the U.S. and China will likely be further strained, after the Trump administration said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will soon visit Taiwan — the highest-level visit by an American official in 41 years. China claims Taiwan as its territory.

News of the trade-deal talks was met with wariness. “A deterioration in U.S.-China political relations this year suggests constructive talks would be a surprise,” Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiTrader, wrote in a note. “The meeting will test the thesis that a political discord does not drive an economic fracturing.”

Stocks rose Tuesday on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rising 164.07 points, or 0.6%, to 26,828.47, while the S&P 500 index
rose 11.90 points, or 0.4%, to 3,306.51 and the Nasdaq Composite Index
gained 38.37 points, or 0.4%, to close at 10,941.17, notching its 30th record close of 2020.

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