Asian markets decline despite China’s bullish growth goal


Shares declined in most Asian markets Tuesday, tracking an overnight sell-off on Wall Street.

But stocks in Shanghai and Shenzhen advanced after the government set an ambitious target for growth this year that implies strong government support for the economy.

The Shanghai Composite index

SHCOMP, +0.36%

  rose 0.1%, while the benchmark in Shenzhen

399106, +1.20%

 , a smaller, more domestic-oriented market, jumped 0.8%.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told the annual session of the country’s rubber-stamp parliament that the government was setting a growth target in a range of 6% to 6.5%. That shows official determination to shore up the cooling economy and prevent politically hazardous job losses and is slightly below last year’s 6.6% growth, a three-decade low.

Li promised higher spending on technology development. Beijing is also aiming to raise military spending by 7.5%.

Elsewhere in Asia the focus was mainly on an absence of news of fresh progress in China-U.S. trade talks.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index

NIK, -0.55%

  lost 0.5% and the Hang Seng

HSI, +0.01%

  in Hong Kong edged 0.1% lower. South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, -0.71%

  dropped 0.5% to 2,178.75.

Australia’s S&P ASX 200

XJO, -0.29%

  fell 0.3% after the central bank opted to keep its key policy rate at 1.5%. Shares fell in Taiwan

Y9999, -0.43%

  and most of Southeast Asia.

Among individual stocks, Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing

9983, +1.83%

  gained while SoftBank Group

9984, -2.01%

  fell in Tokyo trading. Tencent

0700, +3.63%

  rose in Hong Kong as casino operators Sands China

1928, -2.42%

  and Galaxy Entertainment

0027, -2.04%

  slipped. Samsung

005930, -1.23%

  and SK Hynix

000660, -0.71%

  dropped in Korea, while Taiwan Semiconductor

2330, -1.06%

  fell in Taiwan and Fortescue Metals

FMG, +1.72%

  rose in Australia.

The upward momentum from Asia on Monday faded as investors grew impatient for more details on reports that the U.S. and China are moving closer to a deal to resolve their costly trade dispute.

The world’s two largest economies have pulled back from an immediate escalation of their damaging trade war, with President Donald Trump postponing a deadline for raising tariffs on more Chinese goods, citing progress in a series of talks. Media reports say the nations could strike a deal this month.

Investors have been hoping for a resolution in the long-running trade dispute between the world’s biggest economies, which centers on China’s technological ambitions. Washington claims Beijing is stealing technology and forcing companies to turn over technology in order to do business.

“The devil is still in the details and those details are still pretty sparse at this point,” said David Lefkowitz, senior Americas equity strategist at UBS Global Wealth Management. “When tariffs might be removed is definitely a key question, and also there’s still some uncertainty about whether or not a deal will be consummated.”

The sell-off Monday centered mainly on health-related and technology shares that have made the most gains recently.

The S&P 500 index

SPX, -0.39%

  dropped 0.4% to 2,792.81. The index, a benchmark for many mutual funds, is still up 11.4% so far this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -0.79%

  fell 0.8%, to 25,819.65, while the Nasdaq composite

COMP, -0.23%

  lost 0.2% to 7,577.57.

U.S. crude

CLJ9, -0.55%

  lost 30 cents to $56.29 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1.4 percent Monday to settle at $56.59 a barrel in New York. Brent crude

LCOK9, -0.53%

 , used to price international oils, fell 28 cents to $65.39 a barrel.

The dollar

USDJPY, +0.14%

  rose to 111.91 yen from 111.74 yen on Monday.

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Source : MTV