Asian markets decline despite China’s bullish growth goal

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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