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Asian Stocks Edge Down as U.S., Canada Fail to Agree on Trade

Asian stocks edged down in morning trade on Monday

Investing.com - Asian stocks edged down in morning trade on Monday after the U.S. and Canada failed to reach an agreement on trade last Friday, although the two nations are likely to continue negotiations this week.

“There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal. If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out,” Trump said on Twitter on Saturday. “Congress should not interfere w/these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off.”

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite and the SZSE Component fell 0.6% and 0.9% respectively by 9:50AM ET (01:50 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also traded 0.7% lower.

HNA Group received some focus after the company reported on Friday that total debt fell 9.5% to 541.6 billion yuan ($79 billion) at the end of June, compared with $8.3 billion at the end of last year.

Meanwhile, JD.Com (NASDAQ:JD) founder and chief executive Richard Liu was reportedly arrested in the U.S. on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct. The company said it was a false accusation and Liu was later released on the same day, according to reports.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4% as data revealed that the Markit/Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to a seasonally adjusted 52.5 in August from a final 52.3 in July.

"Survey data signaled a moderate improvement in the health of the sector, supported by an accelerated influx of new orders," said Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

"That said, survey data indicated the upturn in demand was domestic-led, with export sales falling over the month. Potential escalations in trade conflict also contributed to a softening of business confidence."

The survey also showed the index for new orders rose to a preliminary 52.4 from a final 50.9 in July, the first increase in four months.

Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1% while South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.6%.

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