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Asian Markets Mixed Amid Cautious Trade

Investing.com - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Monday, but moves were limited by a holiday in Japan while some other bourses close early for Christmas.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were up 0.2% and 0.5% respectively. The Ministry of Commerce said in a statement posted on its website on Sunday that Beijing had held vice-ministerial level talks on trade issues and intellectual property protections with the U.S. last week.

The two sides had a "deep exchange" of views and achieved new progress, according to the statement.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.6%, and South Korea’s KOSPI traded 0.3% lower.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 closed 0.5% higher.

In other news, U.S. President Donald Trump's budget director and chief of staff told reporters over the weekend that the partial U.S. government shutdown could continue into January.

Separately, citing unnamed sources, Reuters reported that Trump has privately discussed the possibility of firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged the heads of the six largest U.S. banks to calm nerves and made plans to convene a group of officials known as the "Plunge Protection Team."

"It provides more than enough fodder for perceptions of chaos and instability in the White House," said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at NAB.

"At the same time, the government shutdown offers a true foretaste of what lies ahead once the new Congress in sworn in on January 3."


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