Asia Falls as Trade Deal Could be Delayed

Stocks in Asia mostly slipped on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said overnight that he may delay a trade deal with China till after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 collapsed 244.58 points, or 1.1%, to 23,135.23, as shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing plummeted 5.2%.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.50 against the U.S. dollar after strengthening from lows around 109.2 yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index stumbled 328.74 points, or 1.3%, to 26,062.56

South Korea’s Kospi ended its trading day lower, as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix fell 1.3% — following overnight declines of Nvidia, Micron and Advanced Micro Devices on Wall Street.

Shares in Australia led losses among the region’s major markets, as shares of major miner BHP plunged 2.5%.

The Australian economy grew 1.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis year-on-year in the September quarter, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6823 after slipping from an earlier high of $0.6853.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 docked 1.27 points to 3,849.82

Investors have been anticipating a "phase-one" trade deal between Washington and Beijing to be inked, ahead of a closely watched date of Dec. 15, when additional tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. are set to kick in.

But Trump told reporters on Tuesday: "In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right.” When asked if he had a deadline for the deal, he added: “I have no deadline, no."

Fox News reported that the White House still plans on moving ahead with scheduled Dec. 15 tariffs on Chinese goods notwithstanding recent efforts at a "phase-one" trade truce.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex dropped 21.11 points, or 0.2%, to 11,510.47

In Korea, the Kospi dipped 15.18 points, or 0.7%, to 2,068.89

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index decreased 13.29 points, or 0.4%, to 3,159.79

In New Zealand, the NZX handed back 18.4 points, or 0.2%, to 11,209.87

In Australia, the ASX 200 let go of 105.78 points, or 1.6%, to 6,606.51