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Asian Markets Mixed; Inversion of U.S. Treasury Yield Curve, Trade War in Focus

Investing.com - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Wednesday. An inversion of the U.S. Treasury yield curve sparked some concerns, while the latest developments on the Sino-U.S. trade war remained in focus.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.1% by 10:40 PM ET (02:40 GMT).

Political unrest in the city continues, with more protests reportedly being planned in the coming weeks. Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (HK:0293) warned against illegal protests outside its facilities on Wednesday.

"Cathay Pacific wishes to emphasize that it fully supports the upholding of the Basic Law and all the rights and freedoms afforded by it," the statement said.

The carrier is under great pressure amid the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. According to Reuters, China has demanded the company to fire or suspend staff who were involved in, or who support, the anti-government demonstrations.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component fell 0.3% and 0.5% respectively.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 gained 0.2%.

Share prices of Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX:VAH) plunged as much as 9% after the company announced 750 job cuts after reporting a seventh consecutive annual loss. The job losses represented almost 8% of the airline’s total workforce, according to a company statement released on Wednesday.

South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 0.5%. Hyundai Motor (KS:005380) surged after the company reached a tentative wage deal with its South Korean workers’ union. The deal is subject to approval from union members in a vote next week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched up 0.1%.

In the U.S., the spread between the 10-year Treasury yield and the 2-year rate fell to negative 5 basis points overnight, sparking concerns of a potential recession.

On the Sino-U.S. trade front, U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier this week his trade team received a phone call from Beijing, which said they want to get "back to the table" for negotiations. His comments eased investor nerves somewhat earlier this week, before Beijing questioned some of those comments and said it is not aware of the phone call has taken place.

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