Markets in Asia were down on Wednesday over a series of events suggesting that the U.S.-China relations could worsen further.
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the “phase one” of the trade deal between the U.S. and China may not come until the presidential elections next year, even though China wants to “make a deal now,” Reuters reported.
Trump’s comments come at a time when the House of Representatives passed a bill that will require the U.S. president to impose sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for the crackdown on the Uighur Muslims in the country’s Xinjiang province.
The revised bill that passed the House with all but one member voting in favor will need the Senate’s approval before it gets to the Oval Office.
Beijing has protested the bill, calling it a “malicious attack on China.”
People close to the matter told Reuters that if the bill becomes a law, the Chinese government could retaliate by imposing sanctions on US-based entities.
In China, the Shanghai Composite traded 0.25% lower at press time, while the Shenzhen Index was up 0.16%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 1.09%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 traded 1.05% lower.
South Korea’s KOSPI traded 0.75%, and Singapore’s Straits Times Index also traded 0.42% lower.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.58%.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index traded 0.16% lower.
Among currencies, the Hong Kong dollar traded 0.01% lower at 7.8284 against the U.S. dollar. The Chinese Yuan was up 0.1% against the USD at 7.0682.
Some of the major losers among the companies were Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), which traded 1.87% lower at $24.14 in Hong Kong and HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HSBC) which traded 1.55% lower at $7.29 HKD.
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