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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks fall with uncertain trade talks in focus

Indian automakers slide after August sales drop while GAC extends losses

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan declined Tuesday, as uncertainty surrounding the future of U.S.-China trade negotiations weighed on sentiment.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index slid 0.9% to 1,218.64.

Sino-American trade tensions remain a drag on sentiment after both the nations imposed fresh tariffs on goods imported from each other on Sunday.

Meanwhile, neither has formally announced a date for the next round of talks. U.S. and Chinese officials are “struggling” to agree on the schedule for a planned meeting this month to continue trade talks, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.

“Trade war jitters continued to litter the landscape,” said Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific market strategist for AxiTrader, in a note. “If they're struggling to decide simple itinerary, expectations for anything tangible to arise from the trade talks are looking incredibly dim at this point.”

Guangzhou Automobile Group fell 3.2% to HK$7.22 in Hong Kong, extending Monday’s 5.6% slump that was triggered by a decline in first-half profit. Jefferies cut its target price on the stock to HK$9 from HK$9.70, saying it was revising down its 2019 volume forecast for GAC Trumpchi to reflect near-term sales weakness.

It, however, revised upwards its volume forecast for the company’s joint ventures with Toyota Motor and Honda Motor, and maintained its “buy” rating on the stock. Chinese offshore oil producer CNOOC declined 1%.

The company late Monday said Yang Hua, a non-executive director and chairman of the board, was resigning and Yuan Guangyu, the chief executive officer, was retiring.

Equities in India fell after data released last Friday showed Asia’s third-largest economy expanded at a lower-than-expected 5% year-on-year in the June quarter. This was also the slowest pace of growth in more than six years. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting a reading of 5.7% for the period.

Markets in India were closed on Monday for a local holiday.

Automakers declined after reporting weak vehicle sales in August. India’s top carmaker Maruti Suzuki India lost 1.3% after reporting a 33% drop in total sales for August.

Tata Motors shed 3.5% following a 48.4% plunge in August sales, while Mahindra & Mahindra ended 2.5% lower after reporting a 25% decline in sales for last month.

AirAsia Group slipped 1.1% in Kuala Lumpur. AirAsia X, the long-haul associate of AirAsia, said Friday it has signed pact with Airbus to purchase an additional 12 units of A330neo aircraft worth $3.10 billion, based on list price.

--Suzannah Benjamin

 

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