Asia stocks traded lower Wednesday afternoon as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese goods if the two economic powerhouses do not strike a deal. Mainland Chinese stocks edged lower by the afternoon, with the Shanghai composite down 0.38% and Shenzhen component shedding 0.13%. The Shenzhen composite was around 0.1% lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.63%.
The People’s Bank of China released its new loan prime rates earlier on Wednesday. The 1-year and 5-year loan prime rates were cut by 0.05% each from a month earlier to 4.15% and 4.8%, respectively.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.79% while the Topix index shed 0.58%. That came after Japanese merchandise trade data for October from the country’s Ministry of Finance showed exports for the month falling 9.2% year-on-year — well off the 7.6% year-on-year decline expected by economists in a Reuters poll.
The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia declined 1.4% as the heavily-weighted financial subindex fell about 2%. Shares of Australia’s so-called Big Four banks declined: Commonwealth Bank of Australia fell 1.62%, Westpac dropped 3.18%, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group shed 1.81% and National Australia Bank slipped 2.29%.
Trump said Tuesday he would “just raise the tariffs even higher” on Chinese goods if a deal between Washington and Beijing is not reached. CNBC reported earlier in the week, citing a government source, that China is pessimistic about the trade deal. That is reportedly due to differing views on the cancellation of tariffs.
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