HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan fell Wednesday as investors reassessed expectations regarding U.S.-China trade relations after the two nations sign the phase-one deal.
The Nikkei Asia300 index slid 0.6% to 1,419.84.
The losses on the gauge came after the S&P 500 Index slipped yesterday amid worries that tensions between the U.S. and China would remain despite their phase-one deal scheduled to be signed later Wednesday. Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that exiting U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports will not be cut until after the U.S. presidential elections in November and any tariff reductions will be a function of China making good on the terms of the phase-one deal.
The phase-one deal is expected to be signed later Wednesday at the White House.
Adding to the risk-off tone was a report by Reuters, which said that the U.S. is nearing publication of a rule that would expand its powers to block shipments of foreign-made goods to China's Huawei.
The onshore Chinese yuan fell Wednesday. The S&P 500 index futures declined, indicating that the U.S. benchmark gauge could extend yesterday's losses. Safe-haven U.S. bonds edged higher.
Mainland companies were among the biggest contributors to the losses on the A300. An index of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong dropped 0.5%.
Dongfeng Motor Group dropped 1.7%, Guangzhou Automobile Group declined 2%, and Great Wall Motor lost 0.9%. Reuters reported that under the phase-one deal, China will increase purchases of U.S. automobiles and auto parts.
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group declined 1.1%. The company plans to close up to 15 stores in Hong Kong from among the points of sale whose leases are due to expire in the financial year ending March 2021, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.
Wipro fell 3.5%. While the Indian software exporter's December quarter net profit exceeded estimates of analysts polled by Refinitiv, its growth guidance of 0-2% quarter-on-quarter in constant currency terms for January-March period was "somewhat below par," according to Jefferies. The brokerage maintained the "underperform rating" on the shares, saying it expects Wipro's growth to continue lagging behind its top tier peers.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction added 2.7%. The South Korean company said Wednesday that it had won a deal worth $674 billion won ($580 million) to build a coal powered plant in Algeria.