Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday after Wall Street ended a five-day winning streak following disappointing corporate earnings reports.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 0.3% to 21,475.38 in morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4% to 6,667.60. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 1.0% to 2,072.10. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.2% to 28,549,53, while the Shanghai Composite was nearly flat at 2,938.49.
President Donald Trump told a Cabinet meeting Tuesday that he was still waiting to see if China would buy more farm products as he expects.
“We have a long way to go on tariffs with China,” Trump said. “We have another $325 billion that we can put a tariff on if we want,” he said.
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping recently agreed to hold off on further tariffs to allow negotiators to resume talks on the dispute over China’s massive trade surplus and its policies aimed at developing advanced technologies in an array of industries.
Trump began ramping up tariffs on Chinese products a year ago and Beijing responded with punitive tariffs of its own.
Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier that he expects more talks with his Chinese counterparts this week. Prospects for progress are uncertain, however, since the main issues blocking agreement have not been resolved.
“President Trump’s renewed threat of more tariffs on Chinese goods has investors bracing for weak trading in the Asian session today, tracking the negative sentiment in the U.S. overnight,” ING economists Nicholas Mapa and Prakash Sakpal said in their report.
The S&P 500 fell 0.3% to 3,004.04, the first decline in the benchmark index after five days of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% to 27,335.63. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.4% to 8,222.80. The Russell 2000 index rose 0.17 point to 1,562.
The latest round of U.S. corporate financial reports ramps up this week and investors have low expectations. Wall Street is forecasting a 2.6% drop in profit for S&P 500 companies. It is set to be the first back-to-back quarterly decline in three years.
Also highly anticipated is the Federal Reserve meeting at the end of the month. Wall Street expects the central bank to raise interest rates to help secure U.S. economic growth threatened by a trade war with China.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 6 cents to $57.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.96 to settle at $57.62 per barrel Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 26 cents to $64.61 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 108.22 Japanese yen from 108.24 late Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.1217 from $1.1211.