Asian markets drop on renewed worries over U.S.-China trade talks – MarketWatch

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Asian markets drop on renewed worries over U.S.-China trade talks - MarketWatch

Asian markets tumbled on Friday after President Donald Trump said he doesn’t plan to meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping before a tariffs truce ends in March.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng

HSI, -0.16%

 , reopening after a Lunar New Year break, gave up 0.8%. The Kospi

SEU, -1.20%

  in South Korea declined 1.2% and Australia’s S&P ASX 200

XJO, -0.34%

  was down 0.4%.

Tencent

0700, -0.58%

  fell in Hong Kong trading, as did CNOOC

0883, -2.42%

  and CSPC Pharmaceutical

1093, -3.13%

 , while AAC

2018, +2.98%

 , Sunny Optical

2382, +3.72%

  and AIA Group

1299, +2.21%

  gained. Samsung

005930, -3.03%

  slid in Korea, while Australian energy stocks, such as Santos

STO, -4.37%

, Woodside Petroleum

WPL, -1.67%

  and Beach Energy

BPT, -9.67%

  tumbled.

Stocks fell in Indonesia

JAKIDX, -0.17%

  and Singapore

STI, +0.04%

  but rose in Malaysia

FBMKLCI, -0.41%

 . Markets in China and Taiwan were closed.

On Thursday, Trump did not dismiss the possibility of meeting Xi in the next month or so. But he shook his head and said no when reporters asked if the meeting would take place before March 2. That marks the end of a 90-day tariffs truce mooted after Trump and Xi met in December.

Read: New White House message on China is that there’s a long way to go before striking trade deal

Unless American and Chinese negotiators come to a new agreement, the U.S. is expected to raise import taxes from 10% to 25% for $200 billion in Chinese goods. The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies, which has cooled in recent months, has weighed on the outlook of businesses and the global economy.

“The worries surround the uncertainties of a resolution to the likelihood of further tariffs in this on-again, off-again confidence with regards to a deal,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a market commentary.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer will lead a delegation to Beijing next week for the next round of trade talks. Officials have reported little progress on contentious issues but remain hopeful that a deal will be struck.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index

NIK, -2.01%

  was 1.6% lower. On Friday, Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony

6758, +4.10%

  announced its first 100 billion yen ($911.2 million) share buyback for 2.36% of its Tokyo-listed stock. Its shares were up by 5%early trading. Meanwhile, Nikon

7731, -11.67%

  plunged and auto makers such as Toyota

7203, -1.92%

  and Honda

7267, -2.51%

  slipped.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower Thursday following a sell-off by technology companies, health care stocks and banks. Twitter

TWTR, -9.84%

  plunged almost 10% after issuing a weak forecast. The broad S&P 500 index

SPX, -0.94%

  shed 0.9% to 2,706.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -0.87%

  was 0.9% lower at 25,169.53 and the Nasdaq composite

COMP, -1.18%

  slid 1.2% to 7,288.35.

U.S. crude

CLH9, -0.51%

  lost 29 cents to $52.35 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped $1.37 to settle at $52.64 per barrel in New York. Brent crude

LCOJ9, -0.29%

 , used to price international oils, retreated 23 cents to $61.40 per barrel. It fell $1.06 to close at $61.63 per barrel in London.

The dollar

USDJPY, +0.04%

  weakened to 109.76 yen from 109.82 yen late Thursday.

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