HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan declined Wednesday amid lingering doubts over a U.S.-China trade deal and intensifying unrest in Hong Kong.
The Nikkei Asia300 Index of companies outside Japan slid 1.1% to 1,312.25.
The appetite for Asian equities was marred by U.S. President Donald Trump's comments that left investors uncertain about the prospects of an interim deal between the U.S. and China. Trump yesterday accused China of cheating the U.S. and said he could increase tariffs if a deal was not reached. While a deal was close, it will be accepted only if it is beneficial to the U.S., he said.
Trump's comments followed his remarks last week that he had not decided on whether to roll back tariffs, contradicting China's Commerce Ministry.
Stephen Innes, the chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said Trump yesterday "didn't exactly come across a willing deal maker" and that the traders remained uncertain over whether tariffs will be rolled back.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.8%, extending its weekly losses. Protests, which have been running for about six months now in the city, have intensified this week after police shot at least one demonstrator. Last week, the death of a teenage protestor had worsened tensions between the police and demonstrators.
Hong Kong property developers once again paced losses on the A300 gauge. New World Development dropped 4.9%, Henderson Land Development declined 2.9%, Sun Hung Kai Properties slipped 2.4%, and Swire Pacific lost 3.7%
Hong Kong rail operator MTR fell 2.2% amid disruption of services for the third straight day.
Chinese social media and gaming major Tencent Holdings declined 0.8% ahead of its third-quarter earnings.
China Life Insurance dropped 1.4% amid the broad market losses. The company said its January-October premium income increased 5.8% from a year earlier.
Wilmar International advanced 2.9% after the Singapore-listed agribusiness company said net profit in the third quarter increased 10.2% year-on-year. UOL Group fell 2.1% after the Singaporean property developer said net profit in the same period declined 6.6%.
NMDC fell 2.9% despite the Indian mineral producer's September quarter net profit increasing 10.5%. Hindalco Industries declined 3.6% after the aluminum producer reported a 33% fall in its net profit.