Investing.com – Asian equities were mostly lower in morning trade on Thursday as investors searched for direction ahead of a deadline when tariffs from the U.S. and China are due to be implemented.
On Friday, the U.S. is scheduled to impose tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods. Beijing has said earlier it would slap tariffs on an equal value on U.S. exports including agricultural and auto exports. U.S. payrolls are also due Friday.
Chinese Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Wednesday that China would “never fire the first shot”, and that the country would not implement tariffs ahead of the U.S., despite recent reports suggested that Beijing would begin imposing tariffs hours ahead of the U.S. due to the time zone difference.
The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component slipped 0.4% and 0.2% respectively by 10:10PM ET (02:10 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was also down 0.1%.
HNA Group Chairman Wang Jian, who had a 15% stake in the group, passed away in an accident while on a business trip in France, the company said on Thursday.
HNA, based on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, is best known as the owner of Hainan Airlines Co and for holding stakes in Deutsche Bank AG and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.3% in morning trade. Samsung Electronics (KS:005930) received some focus as reported on Thursday said its subsidiary Samsung Life Insurance is facing pressure to sell its stock in the electronics maker.
In May, Samsung Life and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance said they would sell 27 million shares in Samsung Electronics to avoid breaking a separate chaebol regulation.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.4%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.4%.