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Asian Shares Slip After Trump's Comments On Trade


Asian stocks fell broadly on Wednesday after U.S. markets fell from record highs overnight on the back of mixed earnings reports and President Donald Trump's latest comments about the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

Trump threatened to impose tariffs on another $325 billion worth of Chinese goods, saying the U.S. still has a long way to go to conclude a trade deal with China.

Chinese shares edged lower in thin trading on worries over slowing growth and the impact of the trade dispute. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 5.92 points or 0.2 percent to 2,931.69, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended down 26.45 points or 0.1 percent at 28,593.17.

Japanese shares ended lower as tech stocks followed their U.S. peers lower, offsetting gains in the financial sector. The Nikkei 225 Index ended down 66.07 points or 0.3 percent at 21,469.18, while the broader Topix finished marginally lower at 1,567.41.

Tech stocks paced the declines, with TDK Corp losing 2.6 percent and Taiyo Yuden sliding 2.4 percent. Banks and insurers eked out modest gains after U.S. government debt yields rose slightly on Tuesday on the back of stronger than expected economic data.

Aeon Fantasy, which operates entertainment facilities in shopping centers, surged 11.6 percent after reporting a 13 percent jump in June same-store sales.

In economic news, Fitch Ratings retained Japan's sovereign ratings at 'A' with a 'stable' outlook. The agency said the "ratings balance the strengths of an advanced and wealthy economy, with high governance standards and strong public institutions, against weak medium-term growth prospects and high public debt."

Meanwhile, Australian stocks advanced after BHP Group, the world's biggest miner, reported a rebound in iron ore output for the fourth quarter. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 32.30 points or 0.5 percent to 6,673.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 28.20 points or 0.4 percent at 6,764.

BHP shares advanced 1.4 percent, while rival Rio Tinto ended marginally lower and Fortescue Metals Group lost 2.1 percent. Banks ANZ, Commonwealth and NAB rose between 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent.

Energy stocks ended flat to slightly lower as oil prices steadied after falling to more than one-week lows overnight. Oil Search fell over 3 percent as Papua New Guinea's new prime minister pressed the company and its oil major partners to pay more taxes.

Estia Health slumped 5.8 percent. The company has been hit with a class action suit that alleges the aged care provider deceived investors and breached market disclosure obligations in 2015 and 2016.

Seoul stocks fell sharply as Trump's comments on trade talks with China dashed hopes of a deal anytime soon. The benchmark Kospi dropped 18.95 points or 0.9 percent to 2,072.92 ahead of the Bank of Korea's rate decision on Thursday. Tech heavyweights Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix ended down 1.7 percent 2 percent, respectively.

New Zealand shares ended little changed with a positive bias. Pushpay Holdings climbed 2.1 percent, while Fletcher Building tumbled 3.5 percent to lead losses.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended modestly lower as trade worries resurfaced and robust retail sales data lowered expectations of an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell told a dinner audience at the Bank of France in Paris on Tuesday that the central bank is "carefully monitoring" downside risks to U.S. growth and "will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new record intraday high before reversing direction to end the session down 0.1 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.3 percent.

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