Asia Pacific markets set to slip amid US-China trade uncertainty; Hong Kong closed for holiday

Stocks in Asia Pacific were poised to start the trading week lower on Monday amid uncertainty on the U.S.-China trade front, after tariffs on Chinese goods were raised last Friday.

Futures pointed to a lower open for the Nikkei 225 in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 21,255, as compared to the benchmark index’s last close at 21,344.92.

Stocks in Australia were also set to decline. The SPI futures contract was at 6,325.0, as compared to the ASX 200’s last close at 6,310.90.

Markets in Hong Kong are closed on Monday for a holiday.

Asia-Pacific Market Indexes Chart

Last Friday, shares in mainland China soared despite the U.S. raising tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to meet at the upcoming June G-20 summit in Japan.

Kudlow said the chances of such a meeting “were pretty good,” but he said there are “no concrete, definite plans” for when U.S. and Chinese negotiators will meet again.

Trade talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators broke up on Friday without a trade agreement. The talks took place under the shadow of Trump’s threat to more than double the tariff rate to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

“It remains to be seen how the markets will react this week once they are back in full swing, but the news on the trade-tariff front is anything other than reassuring,” David de Garis, a director and senior economist at National Australia Bank, wrote in a morning note.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.283 after scaling highs above 97.6 last week.

The Japanese yen, widely viewed as a safe-haven currency, traded at 109.72 against the dollar after strengthening from levels above 110.4 in the previous trading week. The Australian dollar dropped to $0.6991, following highs above $0.702 seen last week.

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