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Asian Markets Mixed; Central Bank Meetings in Focus This Week

Investing.com - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Monday. Central banks meeting will be in focus this week.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to lower interest rates again at the conclusion of its two day policy meeting on Wednesday.Thursday will bring policy meetings in Japan, the U.K., Norway and Switzerland.

The Hang Seng index dropped 1.1% by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT) as Hong Kong entered its fifteenth week of demonstrations. Tens of thousands of protesters marched on the streets on Sunday even after police objected to the event.

The Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Ltd (HK:0388)’s (HKEX) takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) was rejected over the weekend. The People’s Daily, China’s state-owned media, praised LSE for citing its existing tie-up with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

“Persistent worries” about Hong Kong exists given the current political unrest, People’s Daily wrote on Saturday, noting that the LSE’s snub of HKEX showed doubts over Hong Kong’s development potential.

China’s Shanghai Composite inched up 0.1%, while the Shenzhen Component dropped 0.2%.

Data showed on Monday morning that the country’s industrial production rose 4.4% in August from a year earlier, less than the forecasted 5.2% and July’s 4.8%. Retail sales rose 7.5% year-on-year during the month, compared with the expected 7.9%. Fixed asset investment growth came in at 5.5%, slightly slower than the 5.6% forecasted by analysts.

On the Sino-U.S. trade front, junior U.S. and Chinese officials are reportedly meeting this week ahead of planned talks between senior trade negotiators in October.

Beijing exempted some agricultural products from additional tariffs on U.S. goods last week and President Donald Trump postponed a tariff increase on certain Chinese goods by two weeks.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in an interview with Russian media that it is “very difficult” for China’s economy to grow at the 6% rate. The interview was published on the Chinese government’s website.

“For China to maintain growth of 6% or more is very difficult against the current backdrop of a complicated international situation and a relatively high base, and this rate is at the forefront of the world’s leading economies,” Li was quoted as saying.

China’s GDP grew 6.3% in the first half of 2019.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.1%. South Korea’s KOSPI traded 0.3% higher.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 edged down 0.1%.

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