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Nikkei Markets

Asian equities little changed as investors await US-China trade talks

SK Holdings jumps 9.8% on share buyback plan

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan ended little changed on Tuesday as investors awaited key U.S. economic data and upcoming U.S.-China trade talks.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index of companies outside Japan edged 0.04% lower to close at 1,258.43.

Developments related to the trade relationship between the U.S. and China will be the main focus for investors in the coming days with high-level talks between the two sides expected to resume in less than two weeks from now. China's top trade negotiator Liu He will be heading to Washington a week after China's National Holidays. The exact dates of the meeting have yet to be confirmed.

CNBC earlier reported that talks will take place on October 10 and 11.

Meanwhile, traders will be looking at data from the U.S. to gauge how the world's largest economy is holding up amid the trade conflict. Additionally, the data will provide insight on the likely direction of the U.S. monetary policy The Federal Reserve has repeatedly said that it will act "as appropriate" to sustain the ongoing U.S. expansion and will be watching incoming economic data and financial conditions closely.

The Fed has cut rates twice this year and the odds of another rate cut at this month's meeting are currently at 40%, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

The U.S. ISM manufacturing data is due Tuesday followed by private payroll numbers tomorrow and a job report on Friday.

In movers on the A300 gauge on Tuesday, SK Holdings surged 9.8% after the South Korean conglomerate said it will buy back shares worth 718 billion won ($600 million).

Capitaland climbed 0.9% after Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority said that private home prices in the city state rose 0.9% in the third quarter from the previous three months, led by robust demand for apartments in prime areas.

Bajaj Auto declined 1.2% after the Indian motorcycle maker reported that total sales volume fell 20% last month from a year ago.

Maruti Suzuki India advanced 1%. While the carmaker reported a 24% year-on-year decline in sales volume, the sales were up on a month-on-month basis.

Volumes across Asia were less than usual with financial markets in China and Hong Kong remaining closed on Tuesday.

--Nimesh Vora

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