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Asian markets mixed as U.S.-China trade deal needs more time


Asian markets were mixed in early trading Thursday amid a report that there’s still a ways to go before the U.S. and China finalize a “phase one” limited trade deal.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said ongoing negotiations are hoped to be wrapped up and a deal signed next month, the South China Morning Post reported Thursday, but there has been no invitation from Chinese officials for further high-level talks in Beijing. The report said Mnuchin hopes President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping will sign an agreement at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile in mid-November. Mnuchin also said there was no plan yet on what to do about U.S. tariff hikes on $156 billion of Chinese goods scheduled to take effect in December.

Meanwhile, there was optimism in Europe that a Brexit agreement could be reached as soon as Thursday, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that negotiations were “in the final stretch.”

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, +0.14%

  edged up 0.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, +0.79%

  gained 0.9%. The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, +0.00%

  inched up 0.1% as the Shenzhen Composite

399106, +0.17%

  rose 0.2%. South Korea’s

180721, -0.18%

 etreated 0.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, +0.01%

 , Singapore

STI, -0.18%

 , Malaysia

FBMKLCI, -0.11%

  and Indonesia

JAKIDX, +0.29%

  were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, -0.53%

  fell 0.4%.

Among individual stocks, e-commerce company Rakuten

4755, +2.37%

  gained in Tokyo trading, along with Sony

6758, +1.80%

  and SoftBank

9984, +1.32%

 . Property companies surged in Hong Kong, led by New World Development

17, +4.65%

 , Sun Hung Kai Properties

16, +2.78%

  and Henderson Land Development

12, +2.88%

 , after new government measures were announced to ease a housing shortage. Tech companies such as Samsung

005930, -0.99%

 , SK Hynix

000660, -1.58%

  and LG Electronics

066570, -1.99%

  fell in South Korea. BHP

BHP, -2.39%

  and Rio Tinto

RIO, -2.00%

  sank in Australia.

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