Asian shares ease as US, China trade talks begin

Published: February 14, 2019 12:41:06 | Updated: February 16, 2019 13:49:21

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Asian stocks were mostly lower on Thursday as China and the US kicked off two days of trade negotiations in Beijing.

Regional indexes have advanced for three straight days on hopes that both sides will make headway on big issues like Beijing’s technology policy.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 0.7 per cent to 28,305.33. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.1 per cent to 6,060.50 and the Kospi in South Korea lost 0.5 per cent to 2,191.42.

The Shanghai Composite index eased 0.4 per cent to 2,709.73, reports AP.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.1 per cent to 21,155.44. Shares rose in Taiwan and the Philippines but fell in Singapore.

US stocks edged higher Wednesday. The S&P 500 added 0.3 per cent to 2,753.03 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5 per cent at 25,543.27.

The Nasdaq composite rose 0.1 per cent to 7,420.38. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gained 0.3 per cent to 1,542.94.

US crude rose 15 cents to $54.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 80 cents to settle at $53.90 per barrel in New York.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 16 cents to $63.77 per barrel. It added $1.19 close at $63.61 per barrel in London.

The dollar slipped to 110.97 yen from 110.98 yen late Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1277 from $1.1261.

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