Asian markets mostly fell in early trading Thursday after President Donald Trump signed an order that would ban telecom equipment from countries considered “foreign adversaries,” in a move apparently targeted at China’s Huawei Technologies.
While the executive order it doesn’t name specific countries or companies, it follows months of U.S. pressure on Huawei, the world’s biggest supplier of network gear. A ban would also affect China-based ZTE Corp. 0763, -4.39% , which saw its stock tumble in Hong Kong trading.
On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he expects to travel to Beijing to resume trade talks “at some point in the near future.” Mnuchin said talks with China have been “constructive” but there is “still a lot of work to do.”
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.63% sank 0.8%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.21% slipped 0.1%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.36% was about flat, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +0.30% rose slightly. South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.47% fell 0.5%. Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, +0.00% dipped 0.1%, while benchmark indexes in Singapore STI, -0.07% and Indonesia JAKIDX, -1.49% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.14% was the region’s standout, rising 0.2%.
Among individual stocks, Toyota 7203, -1.08% and Honda 7267, -0.70% fell in Tokyo trading despite reports that Trump will postpone tariffs on auto imports. Hyundai 005380, +0.39% and Kia Motors 000270, +1.67% gained in South Korea, though, while tech giant Samsung 005930, -1.41% fell. In Hong Kong, tech companies such as Sunny Optical 2382, -3.91% , AAC 2018, -1.30% and Tencent 0700, +0.05% slid. Beach Energy BPT, +0.99% advanced while Westpac Banking WBC, -4.39% fell in Australia.
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