Australia markets closed

Asian Markets Mixed; China, U.S. to Hold Meetings in January - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Wednesday, with Chinese stocks underperforming despite reports that China and the U.S. are planning to hold meetings in January.

The two countries would negotiate a broader truce in their trade wars, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday, although they are not likely to have face-to-face contact before next month, he added.

Mnuchin also noted that the two sides had phone conversations in the past few weeks and are currently in the process of planning further discussions.

“We’re in the process of confirming the logistics of several meetings and we’re determined to make sure that we use the time wisely, to try to resolve this,” Mnuchin said. China and the U.S. are now focused on trying “to document an agreement” for their current tariffs truce, which expires on Mar. 1. “We expect there will be meetings in January,” he said.

However, the news seemed to have limited impact on Chinese stocks, as the Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component fell 0.3% and 0.5% by 9:38 PM ET (02:38 GMT).

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.2%.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 traded 0.8% lower after data showed the country’s export growth slowed to 0.1% year-on-year, compared to a 1.8% annual increase expected by analysts.

SoftBank Corp took centre stage in Japan as it began trading on Wednesday but slumped as much as 10% earlier in the day. The IPO was the biggest-ever offering in Japan, according to reports. The company's shares last traded at 1,344, down 8%.

The company is the mobile unit of SoftBank Group holding company, which includes U.S. telecoms company Sprint. The group also holds 29% in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group and 48% in Yahoo (NASDAQ:AABA) Japan.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.6%, while Australia’s ASX 200 slipped 0.4%.

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