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Asian Markets Rise; Lagarde Says Trade War Is Biggest Hurdle on Economy

Investing.com - Asian markets rose in morning trade on Tuesday. Incoming European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde’s comments received some focus as she said the Sino-U.S. trade is the biggest hurdle to the global economy.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were both up 0.6% by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also gained 0.6%.

Developments on the Sino-U.S. trade front are being closely watched after the U.S. requested China to cancel a planned visit to U.S. farming regions over the weekend, sparking concerns tensions between the two nations might have escalated once again.

U.S. President Donald Trump apparently was not happy with the decision, according to Reuters which cited people familiar with an exchange between Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that was held overnight.

"Why was that our request, just out of curiosity?" Trump asked.

Mnuchin explained that the U.S. side "didn't want confusion around the trade issues."

Trump then interjected: "Yeah, but I want them to buy farm products."

"There was no confusion," Mnuchin replied. "We want them to buy agriculture. They have committed to buy agriculture. And they're doing that."

"We just decided the timing of the trip wasn't necessarily the perfect timing, so they'll be rescheduling that to after our trade meetings," he added.

In a separate interview with Fox Business Network, Mnuchin said "it's a sign of good gesture that they (China) are back at the table buying agriculture.”

Cancellation of the planned trip sent U.S. and Chinese stocks lower.

Lagarde, who was selected in July to replace Mario Draghi as ECB President starting Nov 1, told CNBC in an interview that she thinks the ongoing trade war is weighing “like a big, dark cloud on the global economy.”

“It’s fewer jobs. It’s less business going on. It’s less investment. It’s more uncertainty,” she said.

The Nikkei 225 climbed 0.2%. Masato Ohtaka, Japanese foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters that Japan still wants to sign a trade deal with the U.S. by the end of this month.

Ohtaka noted that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi would discuss remaining trade issues at a meeting in New York later in the day.

On the data front, Japan’s Jibun Bank Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index slipped to a seasonally adjusted 48.9 from a final 49.3 in the previous month, marking the quickest pace of deterioration since February.

South Korea’s KOSPI inched up 0.1%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 was little changed at 6,752.70.

Investing.com - Asian markets rose in morning trade on Tuesday. Incoming European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde’s comments received some focus as she said the Sino-U.S. trade is the biggest hurdle to the global economy.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were both up 0.6% by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also gained 0.6%.

Developments on the Sino-U.S. trade front are being closely watched after the U.S. requested China to cancel a planned visit to U.S. farming regions over the weekend, sparking concerns tensions between the two nations might have escalated once again.

U.S. President Donald Trump apparently was not happy with the decision, according to Reuters which cited people familiar with an exchange between Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that was held overnight.

"Why was that our request, just out of curiosity?" Trump asked.

Mnuchin explained that the U.S. side "didn't want confusion around the trade issues."

Trump then interjected: "Yeah, but I want them to buy farm products."

"There was no confusion," Mnuchin replied. "We want them to buy agriculture. They have committed to buy agriculture. And they're doing that."

"We just decided the timing of the trip wasn't necessarily the perfect timing, so they'll be rescheduling that to after our trade meetings," he added.

In a separate interview with Fox Business Network, Mnuchin said "it's a sign of good gesture that they (China) are back at the table buying agriculture.”

Cancellation of the planned trip sent U.S. and Chinese stocks lower.

Lagarde, who was selected in July to replace Mario Draghi as ECB President starting Nov 1, told CNBC in an interview that she thinks the ongoing trade war is weighing “like a big, dark cloud on the global economy.”

“It’s fewer jobs. It’s less business going on. It’s less investment. It’s more uncertainty,” she said.

The Nikkei 225 climbed 0.2%. Masato Ohtaka, Japanese foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters that Japan still wants to sign a trade deal with the U.S. by the end of this month.

Ohtaka noted that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi would discuss remaining trade issues at a meeting in New York later in the day.

On the data front, Japan’s Jibun Bank Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index slipped to a seasonally adjusted 48.9 from a final 49.3 in the previous month, marking the quickest pace of deterioration since February.

South Korea’s KOSPI inched up 0.1%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 was little changed at 6,752.70.

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