Asian Stocks Mixed, U.S.-China Trade Meeting Postponed By

© Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Asian stocks were mixed on Monday morning, hitting pause on their recent rallies as investors digested worsening U.S.-China relations.

Tensions continue to simmer between the two countries, with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening on Saturday to exert more pressure on Chinese tech companies such as Alibaba (NYSE:).

Officials from the U.S. and China also postponed an online meeting originally scheduled to take place on Saturday. The two sides were due to discuss the phase one trade deal, as well as air other grievances, during the meeting. But the delay means that the deal remains intact for now.

Meanwhile, the number of cases globally is approaching 21.6 million as of August 17, according to Johns Hopkins University data, and countries such as Korea, France, Italy and Spain deal with increasing numbers of cases.

Japan’s was down 0.72% by 11:03 PM ET (4:03 AM GMT). Data released earlier in the day showed a record economic contraction in the second quarter earlier in the day, with gross domestic product shrinking 27.8% and dropping 7.8% . The quarter’s year-on-year drop was a third straight quarter of drops as COVID-19 continues to dampen business and consumer spending.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly checked into a Tokyo hospital on Monday morning, with no detailed reason given. However, it was also reported that Abe is undergoing a regular checkup.

Hong Kong’s was up by 1.30%.

China’s was up 1.97% and the was up 0.85%. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said earlier in the day that the rate on CNY700 billion ($100.698 billion) worth of one-year medium-term lending facility loans to financial institutions would remain unchanged at 2.95%.

PBOC is due to announce the on Thursday, which is widely expected to remain unchanged.

Down Under, the was down 0.51% and South Korean markets are closed for a holiday.

Elsewhere, the four-day Democratic national convention is due to kick off later in the day, with the U.S. presidential elections less than three month away.

The U.S. Federal Reserve will also release its minutes on Thursday, with investors on the lookout for further clues to the Fed’s next move.

“Market participants will be looking for insight into the details and exact timing of when the Fed’s Monetary Policy Review will be completed, and also for more clarity with respect to the potential timing and structure of any changes to forward guidance,” NatWest Markets analysts told Reuters.

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