Investing.com – With few obvious directional cues, Asian stocks traded mixed Wednesday morning.
In mainland China, Shanghai was up but Shenzhen was down. Hong Kong was in positive territory and Australia was up. Korea was in the red as was Japan.
Overnight in the U.S., most major indices slipped but the losses were relatively mild with the S&P 500 closing down 0.11%, the Dow 30 down just 0.05% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq virtually flat.
In Asia, with no significant news on the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China and the Chinese government focused on the meeting of the National People’s Congress, movements were generally constrained.
The Shanghai Composite Index was up just 0.05% by 9:15 AM ET (2:25 AM GMT) to 3,055 while the Shenzhen Component was down 0.45% to 9,553.
In Hong Kong Tuesday morning, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.19% at mid-morning to 29,019.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.71% to 21,571 and the Kospi in Korea was trading down 0.36% to 2,175.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.49% to 6,229.
On Tuesday, China’s National People’s Congress opened its annual meeting and policymakers lowered the target for economic growth in the country to between 6% and 6.5% for 2019, providing a target “band” rather than the more specific goal of around 6.5% for 2018. Regulators also announced cuts to the value added tax (VAT), including a 3% to the top bracket, in a move that could help support manufacturing. The tax could add up to as much as CNY800 billion, according to figures from Morgan Stanley quoted by Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are progressing and a deal could be reached as early as this month, according to reports by the Wall Street Journal over the weekend. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the media that the trade dispute between the two countries could be resolved soon.
“We’re trying to get that rectified, get that fixed, make it fair and reciprocal and I think we’re on the cusp of doing that and I hope all those tariffs will go away, all those barriers,” Pompeo said in comments reported by CNBC.