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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks decline amid increasing doubts over trade talk outcome

BYD, Tencent Holdings drag down A300 index

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan declined Wednesday amid increasing doubts of a breakthrough in the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks.

The Nikkei Asia300 index fell 0.6% to 1,247.88.

The losses on the gauge came after U.S. equities slipped yesterday following an announcement by the White House that it will impose visa restrictions on Chinese officials believed to be involved in human rights violations of an ethnic minority group. The restrictions further threatened to undermine high-level talks between Chinese and American officials that will begin in Washington on Thursday. Earlier in the week, the U.S. had placed several Chinese companies on a list that would restrict their access to U.S. technology.

ING Bank said the timing of the U.S. travel ban and the blacklist of Chinese companies will mean a negative backdrop to the negotiations. Any optimism that a deal can be reached was dimming, it added.

Risk appetite was further damped by a Bloomberg report that the Trump administration was considering limits on pension investments in Chinese stocks.

Among losers on the A300 on Wednesday, carmaker BYD dropped 2.2%, Tencent Holdings lost 1.7%, and Fosun International slipped 0.3%.

Mainland developers advanced amid sales optimism. China Vanke added 0.5% and Sunac China closed 2.2% higher after September contracted sales rose 18% on year.

Galaxy Entertainment Group dropped 1.4% amid a broad decline in Hong Kong-listed Macau casino operators. According to on-the-ground third-party estimates, Macau casino operators' gross gaming revenue for the just-concluded China Golden Week holidays was likely to be 12% lower than a year ago, Daiwa Securities said in a note.

AU Optronics declined 1.6% after the Taiwanese company said that sales last month were down 13% from a year earlier.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing slid 0.9%, paring yesterday's advance after it said it will not pursue its $39 billion bid for London Stock Exchange Group.

--Nimesh Vora

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