HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares fell for the first time in five days on Wednesday amid signs of some uncertainty in ongoing trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.
The Hang Seng Index declined 0.5% to 29,320.97 after closing at a nine-month high on Tuesday. Financial heavyweights AIA Group and China Construction Bank fell 1% and 0.7%, respectively. The two stocks contributed most to the gauge's losses.
Smartphone components supplier Sunny Optical Technology Group slipped 1.7% after falling as much as 7.4% earlier, following a decline in 2018 net profit. AAC Technologies Holdings, which also supplies parts to mobile phone makers, shed 2%. Mainland property developer China Overseas Land & Investment fell 2% despite reporting a 10.1% increase in 2018 net profit from a year ago.
Investors across the globe are awaiting fresh details on Sino-American trade talks, as officials from both nations continue discussions weeks after a U.S. deadline for higher tariffs on Chinese goods was extended. Some U.S. negotiators are concerned that China is pushing back against American demands in trade talks, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the negotiations. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that people tracking the negotiations said the talks appear to be in final stages. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are planning to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing next week.
The latest development in U.S.-China trade negotiations is "solvable, just needs more time for negotiation," said Jackson Wong, an analyst at Huarong International Securities. "As long as negotiations don't stop, markets won't be too bearish."
In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index ended little changed, while the yuan traded onshore climbed 0.2% against the dollar to 6.6981.
Investors also were awaiting the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy review, due later on Wednesday.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi slid 4.6% even as it swung to a net profit in 2018 and revenue rose 53%. Revenue for the fourth quarter rose 26.5% to 44.4 billion yuan ($6.61 billion). Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting revenue of 47.4 billion yuan for the quarter.
Printed circuit board maker Kingboard Holdings declined 6.2% following an 18% drop in 2018 profit.
China Longyuan Power Group slumped 6.5% despite reporting an 8.3% increase in profit and a 7.3% advance in revenue for 2018.
Steel products maker Mayer Holdings fell 2.1% after saying it expects to report a 300% increase in its net loss for 2018.
Container-maker Singamas Container Holdings added 0.7% after saying it agreed to the disposal of five units for 3.5 billion yuan to 4 billion yuan.
China Overseas Property Holdings advanced 5.4% following a 31.1% increase in 2018 profit.
Notebook and mobile phone case-maker Ju Teng International Holdings added 1.9% after reporting an 80% jump in 2018 profit.