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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks fall amid fading hopes for US-China trade deal at G-20 summit

Chinese financial firms, carmakers pull down A300 index

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan fell Wednesday amid fading optimism over the U.S. and China striking a trade deal at the forthcoming G-20 summit.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index of companies declined 0.6% to 1,279.49. Chinese financial companies and carmakers, along with heavyweight Tencent Holdings, were among the major contributors to the losses on the gauge. Hong Kong-shares of Ping An Insurance Group slid 1.2%, China Construction Bank declined 1.3%, and Tencent closed 2.1% lower. Great Wall Motor fell 1.5% after its May sales volume fell 12% from a year earlier. An index of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong declined 1.2%.

Asian equities struggled Wednesday following comments by President Donald Trump and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Trump reportedly said that he was holding up a trade deal and will not proceed until China reverts to the terms that were originally agreed upon, while Ross commented that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will not strike a "definitive deal" at a meeting expected at the G20 summit in Japan this month.

Chris Weston, the head of research at Australia-based Pepperstone Group, said that "Trump's comments suggest that the two countries "are a long way from convergence" and his comments could take the "wind out of" Chinese equities.

On Wednesday, the Shanghai Composite closed 0.6% lower.

Trump's comments came a day after he threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese imports that are not taxed by earlier rounds if President Xi Jinping did not meet him at the G20 summit in Japan.

Trade tensions have mounted after Trump last month increased tariffs and talks between the two nations did not yield an agreement. The U.S. has said that the talks failed due to Beijing reneging on the terms that were previously agreed upon.

Meanwhile, amid increasing bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates, traders will eye the U.S. consumer inflation data due later Wednesday.

In other movers on the A300 gauge, Hon Hai Precision Industry closed 1.8% higher. The Taiwanese electronics manufacturing services firm said late Tuesday that it will utilize its global distribution and localized production to tackle the growing uncertainty over the U.S.-China conflict, Reuters reported.

Tenaga Nasional rose 0.5% after falling 2.2% earlier in the session. A report by local newspaper Harian Metro, citing the nation's energy minister, said that Malaysia's energy commission will impose a penalty on the electricity company for "multiple offences." A spokesperson of Tenaga said it was unable to immediately comment on the penalty report.

Samsung Electronics declined 0.6%, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing advanced 0.6%.

Meanwhile, private sector economists lowered their growth outlook for Singapore for the current year following a weak showing by the economy in the first quarter and amid growing risks from trade tensions, a quarterly central bank survey released Wednesday showed.

--Nimesh Vora

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