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Asian markets sink as concerns between the US and China mount

Stocks slipped Thursday in Asia after moderate Wall Street downturns raised concerns about the possibility of the US and China failing to reach a trade deal next year.

Hong Kong led the region with its Hang Seng Reference Index

HSI, -1.51%

drops 1.6%. Shanghai Composite Index

SHCOMP, -0.35%

lost 0.4% while Japan's Nikkei 225

NIK, -0.48%

gave up 0.8%.

A published report suggests that the Phase 1 Preliminary Trade Pact should not be completed this year as negotiators continue to combat differences. A Reuters report cites an unnamed Trump administration official saying that an agreement may not be reached, but is more likely to reach an agreement.

Comments have frightened investors who are already shaken by the possible knock on negotiations of US Congress resolutions expressing support for human rights in Hong Kong, where political protests linger for months.

China condemned the moves of US lawmakers to throw their support behind protesters in Hong Kong, threatening "strong countermeasures".

“Asia has been nervous about the state of trading playing all week with stocks from the former China that are lower. Early-morning action this morning suggests that a cautious walk to the exit can turn into a recalcitrant one for himself, "Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a comment.

Investors hope the two largest economies in the world can make the deal before new and more harmful tariffs go into effect on December 15 for about $ 160 billion in Chinese imports, which will cover smartphones, laptops and other consumer goods.

Beijing wants Washington to first agree to a broader tariffs on Chinese goods.

"Ac the deal will not be concluded before the end of the year, then all of a sudden this uncertainty comes back around what will happen around December 15, "said Scott Ladner, Chief Investment Officer at Horizon Investments." Are the tariffs back on the table? was expecting that this would not happen. "

In other Asian trade, South Korean Kospi

180721, -1.35%

dropped 1.3%, the Australian S&P ASX 200

XJO, -0.74%

lost 0.7% and base indices in Taiwan

Y9999, -0.63%

and Singapore

STI, -0.88%

has fallen.

Tokyo Electron chip maker

8035, -3.44%

sank in Tokyo trading, as did Screen Holdings

7735, -4,44%

and SoftBank

9984, -1.61%

. In Hong Kong, Wharf Real Estate

1997, -3.50%

Sunny Optical

2382, -3.95%

and AIA Group

1299, -1.48%

have fallen. Samsung

005930, -1,92%

and SK Hynix

000660, -2.18%

decreased in South Korea while Beach Energy

BPT, -1,72%

and Westpac

WBC, -1.99%

retreated in Australia.

On Wall Street overnight, technology stocks took the biggest losses, along with communications services and industrial stocks. Energy stocks have seen big gains as crude oil prices rebound.

Sales have driven major US indices since their last highs ever.

The S&P 500 Index

SPX, -0.38%

dropped 0.4% to 3,108.46. The Dow Jones industrial average

DJIA, -0.40%

lost 0.4% to 27 821.09 while Nasdaq

COMP, -0.51%

slides 0.5% to 8 526.73.

The growing investor optimism that the US and China are making progress on a restricted trading deal has helped pave the way for market gains in recent weeks, including a series of rising values ​​for major stock indices.

This optimism eclipsed Wednesday as investors weighed in on the effects of higher tariffs next month.

The two countries have raised billions of dollars in tariffs on each other's goods in the fight against China's trade surplus and technological ambitions. This is weighing on global trade and threatening to reduce corporate revenue and global economic growth, which is already showing signs of slowing down.

Benchmark crude oil

CLZ19, + 3.08%

threw 11 cents to $ 56.90 a barrel in e-commerce on the New York Stock Exchange. It rose $ 1.66 on Wednesday to reach $ 57.01 a barrel. Brent crude oil

CLF20, -0.07%

international standard, dropped from 15 cents to $ 62.25.

The dollar

USDJPY, -0.01%

slipped to 108.52 JPY from 108.59 JPY on Wednesday.

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