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Asian Markets Mixed With Trade Tension Rising Amid Conflicting Reports

Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Monday - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Monday as U.S.-China trade tension dominated the markets.

President Trump said Friday that he would likely make a deal with China on trade, adding that much progress had been made to resolve the two countries' differences. Trump's comments came after Larry Kudlow, his top economic advisor, expressed caution about talk of a possible U.S.-China trade agreement and downplayed the potential for a quick deal.

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.4% while the Shenzhen Component inched up 0.1% by 9:30 PM ET (01:30 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 1.5%.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s opening speech at the China International Import Expo will likely to be the focal point later in the day.

Looking ahead, China will release October trade figures on Thursday.

Official data is expected to show that the country’s trade surplus widened to $36.2 billion last month from $31.7 billion.

Exports are forecast to have climbed 12.0% from a year earlier, slower than September's 14.5% increase, while imports are expected to rise by 14.0%.

Elsewhere, central banks in the United States, Australia and New Zealand are set to meet this week.

"There is not expected to be any change in policy from either central bank. But we continue to expect the Fed to lift interest rates 25 bpts in December to 2.50 (per cent)," Richard Grace, chief currency strategist and head of international economics at the Commonwealth Bank, wrote in a morning note.

The U.S. Fed raised borrowing costs in September for the third time this year. Robust economic growth combined with rising inflation is likely to keep it on track for another increase in December, despite mounting verbal pressure from the White House.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 and South Korea’s KOSPI both slid 1.3%.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.1%.

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