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Asian Equities Mixed; U.S., China Open to Resuming Talks

Stock MarketsJul 13, 2018 12:28
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© Reuters. Asian equities were mixed in morning trade – Asian equities were mixed in morning trade on Friday as U.S. and China signalled they are open to resume negotiations over trade.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that he and administration are “available” for discussion, but China must first agree to deeper economic reforms.

“To the extent that China wants to make structural changes, I and the administration are available,” Mnuchin said on Thursday. “We are not advocating tariffs. We are advocating fair trade.”

China’s Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen also said on Thursday “when we have a trade problem, we should talk about it.”

China’s Shanghai Composite opened 0.3% lower, while the Shenzhen Component climbed 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.7%.

An article published by state-owned Chinese paper Global Times received some focus on Thursday as it claimed Chinese tourists are "reluctant to visit" the United States following recent trade dispute between the two countries.

Citing data from Mafengwo, a local trip-planning site, Global Times reported that interest in travel to major American travel destinations such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas has decreased in the first six months of 2018 as "interest in traveling to the U.S. has withered as peak vacation season approaches.”

The newspaper further noted that the switch to other destinations "could hurt" key sectors of the U.S. economy that rely on tourism.

Overall, nearly 3 million Chinese tourists visit the U.S. annually and spending has topped $30 billion in recent years.

In response, U.S. travel officials said they are not seeing any slowdown in Chinese tourism just yet. Jonathan Grella, an executive vice president of the U.S. Travel Association, said "there is no econometric evidence yet that travel from China to the U.S. has flattened or decreased.”

In other news, Donald Trump warned U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for a soft Brexit would affect trade deal with the U.S. “in a negative way.”

“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal,” Trump said in an interview in the Sun newspaper to be published Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 traded 1.4% higher in morning trade, while South Korea’s KOSPI gained 1.1%.

Down Under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2%.

Asian Equities Mixed; U.S., China Open to Resuming Talks

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