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Asian Equity Market Eases U.S. Tariff Deadline Looms

Asian equity markets ticked down Tuesday, tracking Wall Street losses as traders fussed over a December 15 deadline for the subsequent round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese products to take effect.

Adding to the market skepticism were statements from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Monday that while President Donald Trump didn’t wish to implement taxes, he did want to see “movement” from China.

The deadline approaches over a series of different significant occasions this week, with markets awaiting the UK election Thursday, and U.S. and eurozone central bank conferences.

Investors have focused this year on the threats of the UK crashing out of the European Union without an offer and a sharp rise in the trade conflict, stated Frank Benzimra, head of the equity strategy at Societe Generale.

With investors unwilling to make big bets, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was merely 0.05% lower, with China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index off 0.3%.

For its part, a Chinese delegate said Monday China hopes to reach a trade agreement with the U.S. before new U.S. duties are slated to roll out this weekend.

Adding force in China was new data exhibiting that producer costs dropped in annual terms for the fifth straight month in November while shopper prices hiked as food prices soared, complicating efforts to boost demand as economic growth hampered.

Tepid trade adopted weakness on Wall Street in a single day. The Dow Jones Average slid 0.38% to 27,909.6, the S&P 500 lost 0.32% to 3,135.96 and the Nasdaq Composite plunged 0.4% to 8,621.83.

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