Asian Equities Mixed; China Offers U.S. $200 Billion Reduction in Trade Surplus

Date | 18-05-2018 - 10:20 AM Article Type | Stock Markets Region | Asia – Asian stocks were mixed in morning trade on Friday as investors digested news that China has offered U.S. President Donald Trump a $200 billion reduction in annual trade surplus.

A Trump administration official confirmed the offer was made during talks between the two nations in Washington. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met with Trump Thursday and the sides are expected to continue trade discussions on Friday.

Trump previously expressed doubt that an agreement could be reached to avoid a damaging trade war.

“Will that be successful? I tend to doubt it,” Trump said during a press briefing on Thursday. “The reason I doubt it is because China’s become very spoiled.”

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component opened 0.1% and 0.4% lower respectively by 9:35PM ET (01:35 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed at 30,926.

Trump added that Chinese President Xi Jinping “could be influencing” Kim as North Korea shifted to a more negative tone this week. The country suspended talks with South Korea “indefinitely” on Wednesday, citing U.S.-South Korea military exercises as reasons.

“It could very well be that he’s influencing Kim Jong Un. We’ll see what happens. Meaning the President of China, President Xi, could be influencing,” Trump said.

South Korea’s KOSPI was up 0.3% in morning trade.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.2% despite official data showed on Friday that consumer prices, excluding fresh food, were 0.7% higher than the same month a year earlier, well short of the 2-% yearly target set by the Bank of Japan.

Toshiba Corp. (T:6502) made headlines after the company said in a statement that it received regulatory approval from China for the $18 billion sale of its memory chip business. The sale of the semiconductor business will take place on June 1.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2%.

Author: PPS
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