Asia Markets: Asian stocks pare losses after China hails ‘successful’ trade talks

Asian stocks fell Wednesday, tracking a brutal session on Wall Street, but optimism over the trade front after comments from the Chinese government helped stem the losses.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -3.10%

  fell nearly 800 points. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to its lowest level in three months, signaling that the bond market is worried about long-term economic growth. The sell-off short-circuited a recent rally on Wall Street.

The market gained Monday after the Trump administration said U.S. and China agreed to a temporary cease-fire in a trade dispute, but confusion emerged over just what was agreed. Last week, stocks jumped when the Federal Reserve’s chairman indicated the central bank could slow the pace of interest rate increases.

Fresh comment on the trade front from China appeared to help keep a lid on selling. A spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement Wednesday that it will begin implementing measures agreed with the U.S. “immediately,” acknowledging the 90-day timetable for trade talks referenced by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, -1.62%

 closed down 1.6%, with tech stocks seeing pressure — Tencent

0700, -2.25%

  shedding 2.3% and smartphone-component firms AAC

2018, -3.70%

  and Sunny Optical

2382, -7.27%

  off 3.7% and 7.3%, respectively. Banks also fell, with HSBC

0005, -2.64%

  down 2% and China Construction Bank

0939, -1.32%

  off 2.7%. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, -0.61%

  finished off 0.6% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite

399106, -0.48%

 ended with a 0.2% rise.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, -0.53%

  closed 0.5% lower, with financial stocks faring poorly — insurer Dai-Ichi Life

8750, -3.16%

  and Nomura

8604, -3.28%

  fell around 3% each. Robotics maker Fanuc

6954, -3.42%

  dropped more than 3%.

South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, -0.62%

  dropped 0.7%, with Samsung

005930, -1.66%

  down 1.7%. Benchmarks in Taiwan

Y9999, -1.65%

  and Singapore

STI, -0.52%

  fell 1.7% and 0.5%, respectively.

Australia’s S&P ASX 200

XJO, -0.78%

  dropped around 0.8% after third-quarter GDP data came in below expectations. Banking stocks again took a hit, with Westpac

WBC, -1.16%

 , Commonwealth Bank

CBA, -1.13%

  and ANZ Banking Group

ANZ, -0.72%

  all down more than 1%. New Zealand’s benchmark

NZ50GR, -0.95%

  closed nearly 1% lower.

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