Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

Asian stocks mixed as China-US trade talks end with no deal

A private survey suggested that manufacturing in China slowed in January

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2 per cent on Friday. AP 
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2 per cent on Friday. AP 

Asian markets were mixed on Friday as trade talks ended in Washington with no deal but the promise of a second meeting between US president Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Gains were limited by a private survey showing that Chinese manufacturing slowed to the lowest level in almost three years.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 0.2 per cent while the Shanghai Composite index jumped 0.8 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2 per cent after the country's unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 2.4 per cent in December, from 2.5 per cent the month before.

South Korea's Kospi edged 0.1 per cent higher.

American and Chinese negotiators wrapped up two days of talks on Thursday without a deal but with an upbeat outlook. Mr Trump said China has agreed to buy more American soybeans, but he expects to meet his Chinese counterpart Mr Xi to seek agreement on other contentious issues.

“There are some points we don't agree to, but we will agree," Mr Trump said. "I think when Xi and I meet, every point will be agreed to."

A tariffs ceasefire between the US and China is set to be lifted on March 2, and the US is expected to raise import taxes from 10 per cent to 25 per cent for $200 billion in Chinese goods.

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A private survey released on Friday suggested that manufacturing in China slowed in January. China's Caixin Manufacturing PMI - that acts as an indicator for economy's behaviour - was 48.3 in January, down from 49.7 in December. This was its lowest reading since February 2016. Readings below 50 indicate contraction on the index's 100-point scale.

The survey said that Chinese production and new orders slipped further in January while export orders climbed, fuelling fears that the world's second largest economy was experiencing a slowdown.

“The high-level China-US trade talks did not result in any negative headlines. Expectations for a sweeping deal were low to begin with and the market is probably relieved that trade tensions are no longer escalating," DBS Group Research strategists Neel Gopalakrishnan and Eugene Leow said in a commentary.

Updated: February 1, 2019 11:30 AM

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