Fall in Asian markets reflects pessimism over US-China trade deal

Negotiations between Washington and Beijing over a trade deal may be ongoing, but that doesn’t mean people are optimistic about the potential for a settlement, as evinced by the fall in Asian markets during early trading Wednesday.

The decline came in the wake of a Twitter rampage from US President Donald Trump—who has been less than consistent (one might say erratic) on this issue—in which he lit into China for not importing more agricultural products from the US and took credit for the Asian country’s allegedly failing economy.

“China is doing very badly, worst year in 27 – was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now – no signs that they are doing so. That is the problem with China, they just don’t come through. Our Economy has become MUCH larger than the Chinese Economy is last 3 years,” he wrote.

Continuing he wrote:

“My team is negotiating with them now, but they always change the deal in the end to their benefit.”

And in conclusion:

“China has lost 5 million jobs and two million manufacturing jobs due to the Trump Tariffs. Trumps [sic] got China back on its heels, and the United States is doing great.”

Trump did not provide any sources to back up the stated figures, but then I probably didn’t have to tell you that.

MarketWatch summed up the immediate fallout, reporting that “Japan’s Nikkei slid 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index  fell 1.3%. The Shanghai Composite retreated 0.8% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite lost 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1% as North Korea tested more short-range ballistic missiles, and benchmark indexes in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia all fell. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2%.”

Individual stocks were also down.

MarketWatch reports that, in addition to Trump’s unpredictability, an ongoing trade dispute between South Korea and Japan is roiling markets. Said dispute stems from Tokyo’s decision to deny South Korea a special trade status known as “white country.”