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Asian Stocks Continue to Retreat After Wall Street Slump

Investing.com - Asian markets continued to retreat in afternoon trade on Wednesday after steep losses on Wall Street overnight.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component slipped 0.1% and 0.3% respectively by 1:15 AM ET (06:15 GMT).

In a 53-page report released on Tuesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s office accused China of failing to change its “unfair, reasonable” practices regarding its intellectual property and technology transfer policies.

“China fundamentally has not altered its acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation, and indeed appears to have taken further unreasonable actions in recent months,” the report said.

U.S. President Donald Trump is due to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping later this month during the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.3%.

Tongcheng-Elong Holdings Ltd, a Chinese travel website backed by tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK:0700), raised a total of $180 million from an IPO in Hong Kong.

The company sold 143.8 billion shares at HK$9.8 per piece, near the bottom of the range the company offered between HK$9.75 to HK$12.65 per share. The IPO raised far less than the $1 billion that had been originally touted.

Weak markets and a tumble in the share price of Ctrip.Com International Ltd ADR, another investor of Tongcheng-Elong, pushed the website firm to slash the size of the IPO, according to Reuters.

Tongchen-Elong’s shares will start trading in Hong Kong on Nov. 26.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 traded 0.5% lower. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (T:7201) received some continued focus on reports that Japanese prosecutors are considering bringing a case against company Chairman Carlos Ghosn's arrest, according to the Asahi Shimbun daily.

Ghosn was arrested on Monday after Nissan reported in a statement that “numerous significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets.” The company added that Ghosn had also made inappropriate investments.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s KOSPI declined 0.3%, and Australia’s ASX 200 dropped 0.2%.

The fall in Asian stocks came after steep losses on Wall Street overnight.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 551.80 points to close at 24,465.64 while the S&P 500 declined 1.8%. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, shed 1.7% to 6,908.82.

The Dow and the S&P 500 erased their gains for 2018 and are now down 1.0% and 1.2% respectively for the year.

“The fact that we haven’t seen a fast bounce or hard bounce, shows the market is exploring where prices should be,” Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. “But it’s hopefully a sign that we’re starting to find a bottom here.”

Elsewhere, oil prices were in focus after Trump issued a statement on Tuesday and said the U.S. stands by Saudi Arabia despite the killing of journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents last month.

“In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…After the US, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels – so important for the world,” Trump said in the statement.

Reports cited Trump as saying outside the White House on the same day, “If we broke with them [Saudi], I think your oil prices would go through the roof.”

The U.S. financial markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marks the traditional start to the U.S. holiday shopping season.

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