People walk past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a bank in Hong Kong, Thursday, May 3, 2018. Asian stock markets were mostly lower Thursday as investors analyzed the Fed's latest decision and turned their focus to upcoming talks between U.S. and Chinese officials in Beijing aimed at resolving simmering trade tensions. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Asia shares mixed as markets mull Fed, China trade talks

May 03, 2018 - 2:05 am

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian shares were mixed on Thursday as investors analyzed the Fed's decision to keep interest rates unchanged and kept an eye out for developments from China-U.S. trade talks in Beijing.

KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index slumped 1.2 percent to 30,359.94 and South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.5 percent to 2,492.38. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.2 percent to 3,088.68 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.8 percent to 6,100.70. Shares in Taiwan and Southeast Asia were lower. Japan's markets were closed for a holiday.

TRADE TRIP: A U.S. delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was due arrived in Beijing on Thursday for two days of talks with senior Chinese leaders in an effort to calm worsening friction over the trade imbalance between the world's two biggest economies. Prospects for a breakthrough looked uncertain given the intensifying rivalry over technology that underlies the dispute.

XIAOMI IPO: Beijing-based Xiaomi, the world's No. 4 smartphone maker by shipment volume, filed documents Thursday with Hong Kong's stock exchange operator for an initial public offering that could be the world's biggest share sale in years. Listing documents provided no financial details. But the newspaper South China Morning Post cited unnamed banking sources saying Xiaomi plans to raise up to $10 billion in a deal that would value the company at $100 billion.

FED STANDS PAT: In leaving rates unchanged, as investors and analysts had expected, the Fed said it expects to continue gradually raising them. The U.S. central bank also said inflation is approaching its 2 percent target after years of remaining undesirably low, though policymakers didn't suggest they're overly concerned that inflation will overshoot that.

QUICK TAKE: "With much of the good news in the equity world currently factored in, investors are left mulling over the paradoxical landscape of stellar earnings but higher interest rates and the threat of trade war," said Stephen Innes, head of Asian trading at OANDA. "This struggle is unlikely to end anytime soon."

WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks ended lower after a sell-off in the final hour of trading. The S&P 500 index fell 0.7 percent to 2,635.67. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.7 percent to 23,924.98. The Nasdaq composite slid 0.4 percent to 7,100.90.

ENERGY: Oil's rally fizzled. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 10 cents to $67.83 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped 1 percent to settle at $67.93 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 17 cents to $73.19 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 109.64 yen from 109.86 yen in late trading Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.1982 from $1.1952.

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