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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks slip amid earnings, trade uncertainty

Ping An slides after lowering new business value outlook

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan ended lower on Friday, as market participants took to the sidelines awaiting more details on Sino-American trade talks.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index ended 0.2% lower at 1,290.13. For the week, the gauge added 0.3%.

Investors continue to watch comments from the U.S. and China as both the nations have indicated they are on track to sign the phase one of a trade deal by the time U.S. President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month.

Concerns over bilateral trade relations rose after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence criticized China over a number of issues in a speech on Thursday, including the "theft" of U.S. intellectual property and the slashing of civil "rights and liberties" in Hong Kong.

Among financial heavyweights in Asia, Ping An Insurance Group fell 3.9% after the insurer lowered its outlook for new business value for the year during an analyst call on Thursday. The company earlier reported a 63.2% year-over-year increase in net profit for the January-to-September period.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, due to report third-quarter earnings later Friday, fell 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively.

Offshore oil producer CNOOC added 0.2 % after reporting a 0.8% increase in third-quarter oil-and-gas sales revenue.

Great Wall Motor was up 0.7% ahead of its September quarter numbers.

Shares of Malaysia's Maxis fell 1.1% after the wireless carrier reported a 30.2% decline in third-quarter net profit, even as revenue increased 1% from a year earlier.

Hana Financial Group declined 2.5% in Seoul after reporting a 6% decline in third-quarter operating profit.

Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.5% on Friday, outperforming most other regional equity benchmarks, after data showed the city state's industrial output unexpectedly rose 0.1% in September.

Singapore Exchange jumped 6.9% after reporting a 25.4% gain in first-quarter net profit amid an increase in derivatives trading.

--Suzannah Benjamin

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