Australia markets closed

Hong Kong rebounds, China mixed on trade war hurdles – After a downbeat day in the U.S., Asian equities started Wednesday mixed, with Chinese markets flat in the face of more trade war hurdles, Japan struggling to gain direction, Australia down and Hong Kong staging something of a recovery.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained some ground on Wednesday morning, breaking a losing streak. The Hang Seng was up 1.32% to 25,861 by 10:00 PM ET (02:00 GMT), shortly into the morning session. The Hang Seng was the worst-performing major market in the world through August, weighed down by more than three months of political unrest and often-violent protests.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.04% to 20,617 by 9:45 PM ET (01:45 GMT).

China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.53% early into the morning session at 2,944, and the Shenzhen Component was marginally lower by 0.13% at 9,622.

Chinese markets have been moving mostly sideways, kept in check by an economic slowdown and the on-again-off-again trade negotiations with the U.S. Bloomberg reported today that officials from both sides are finding it difficult to agree on a schedule for further negotiations, particularly after the U.S. denied a Chinese request to delay tariffs on about US$110 billion worth of Chinese imports that took effect over the weekend.

South Korea’s KOSPI was up 0.42% to 1,973. South Korea reported that year-on-year inflation hit an all-time low in August. The consumer price index did not move in August, missing expectations for a 0.2% rise while the Bank of Korea revised down on Tuesday its economic growth number for the April to June quarter to 1% from 1.1%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.83% to 6,519 a day after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept rates unchanged.

U.S. markets fell widely on Tuesday, pushed down by weak manufacturing data. The Institute of Supply Management reported that its purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for August fell to 49.1., with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction.

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