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Asian Markets Mixed; Beijing, U.S. to Resume Trade Talks

Asian markets were mixed in afternoon trade - Asian markets were mixed in afternoon trade on Thursday as Beijing announced plans to resume trade talks with U.S. in an attempt to alleviate tensions between the two countries.

A Chinese delegation led by Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of Commerce, will hold talks with U.S. representatives later in August, the Ministry of Commerce confirmed in a statement on Thursday.

The Turkish crisis continued to receive some attention as Qatar promised to invest $15 billion in the country. Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Al Thani made the pledge after a three-and-a-half hour meeting with Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday, according to the report. The lira jumped as much as 8% versus the dollar Wednesday following the news.

Meanwhile, Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK:0700)’s earnings report was in focus in morning trade after the company surprised traders with its first decline in profit in almost 13 years.

The report came after regulators banned the sale of its blockbuster video game Monster Hunter: World just days after its launch on Aug. 8, as regulators received a large number of complaints about the game that was sold over 8 million copies worldwide.

“The fact that Monster Hunter got taken down shows that even Tencent isn’t immune from regulatory crackdowns,” said Benjamin Wu, a Shanghai-based analyst with consultancy Pacific Epoch.

China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.1% while the Shenzhen Component edged up 0.1% by 2:00AM ET (06:00 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.5%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1% despite data showed the country’s exports rose 3.9% year-on-year in July, well short of a 6.3% increase expected by analysts and a 6.7% year-on-year gain in June.

On the other hand, trade surplus with the U.S fell 22.1% year-on-year to 502.7 billion yen ($4.55 billion).

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 traded 0.02% higher. South Korea’s KOSPI was down 0.8%, with big names including SK Hynix Inc (KS:000660) and Samsung Electronics (KS:005930) down as much as 4% and 3% respectively earlier in the day.

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