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Asian Stocks Mixed as Trade Concerns Linger

Asian stocks were mixed in morning trade – Asian stocks were mixed in morning trade on Wednesday as markets await further measures from the Trump administration against China.

The Shanghai Composite opened 0.2% lower by 9:45PM ET (01:45 GMT), while the Shenzhen Component climbed 0.1%.

Both Indices finished Tuesday’s session in bear market territory as they declined more than 20% from their 52-week highs.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.5%.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that China is not the only country to be targeted by investment curbs.

“We have the greatest technology in the world, people copy it and they steal it, but we have the great scientists, we have the great brains, and we have to protect that,” Trump said. “And that can be done through CFIUS, we have a lot of things we can do it through.”

“It’s not just Chinese. We don’t want people coming in,” Trump said. “We are a very smart country. We have the most incredible people in Silicon Valley. We don’t want China or other countries.”

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Tuesday that a report later week on American restriction on Chinese investments would not be as damaging to growth as markets expected.

"There's no plans to impose investment restrictions on any countries that are interfering in any way with our country. This is not the plan," he said, adding that the markets were overreacting to recent reports that the administration would restrict foreign investment.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has pressed within the administration for a negotiated settlement to trade disputes with China, denied the measures would be aimed specifically at China.

The restriction is “not specific to China, but to all countries that are trying to steal our technology,” he said in a tweet on Monday.

Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3%, with the financials and utilities sectors declining early on. South Korea’s KOSPI and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2% and 0.1% respectively.

Looking ahead, China’s manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI are due on Saturday, while New Zealand and Indonesia monetary policy decisions are both due on Thursday.

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