Chinese markets choppy as trade talks resume in Beijing – Financial Times


Chinese stocks started the week in negative territory and the onshore renminbi lost ground after returning from a five-day break and as US-China trade negotiations began in Beijing.

US-China trade talks resumed with US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin set to meet Chinese vice premier Liu He later this week in Beijing following a round of lower level talks starting on Monday. President Donald Trump last week ruled out a meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline shattering hopes of an agreement to avoid an escalation in tariffs when the truce ends.

Chinese stocks returned opened lower on the return from the lunar new year break. The CSI 300 was down 0.1 per cent but remained near the eight-week high notched before the holiday.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.2 per cent as financial stocks slipped 0.3 per cent and the technology sector fell 0.1 per cent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index was down 0.3 per cent. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.5 per cent as the financials sector shed 1.2 per cent as the country’s four major banks all retreated. Japanese markets were closed for National Foundation Day. 

The moves in Asia-Pacific on Monday come after the S&P 500 ended 0.1 per cent higher and the Nasdaq Composite also edged up 0.1 per cent. 

China’s onshore renminbi, which is constrained by a trading band set by Chinese central bankers, slipped 0.3 per cent at the open to Rmb6.7689 per dollar. The offshore rate firmed by the same amount to Rmb6.764 before retreating to Rmb6.7752.



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