Stocks Fall on Dimming Hopes For U.S.-China Trade Talks

Alibaba is preparing for a Hong Kong debut Nov. 26

Alibaba is preparing for a Hong Kong debut Nov. 26

The demand has USA officials wondering if higher Chinese purchases of US farm goods, promises of improved access to China's financial services industry, and pledges to protect intellectual property are enough to ask in return.

Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers saw the legislation as a key measure to censure the Chinese regime.

Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer recognize that making such concessions for a "skinny" trade deal that fails to address core intellectual property and technology transfer issues is not a very good deal for Trump, a second person briefed on last weekend's trade phone call said.

"It does sound positive on the surface, but equity markets remain cautious given the numerous stops and starts, not to mention dead ends these trade discussions have met with". That prompted Tokyo to impose controls on exports of certain materials used to make computer chips, a critically important industry for South Korea.

Saying the act "disregards the facts, confuses right and wrong, violates common sense of justice, shows double standards and openly intervenes in China's internal affairs", Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed the bill also seriously violates the basic norms of global law and worldwide relations.

A White House spokesman declined to comment on whether the president meant to sign or veto the legislation.

An initial trade deal could take as long as five weeks to sign, U.S. President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said month.

Fewer than 100 protesters remained holed up in a Hong Kong university on Thursday as riot police encircled the campus, with some activists desperately searching for ways to escape while others hid.

Hong Kong has had a brief respite from months of often violent demonstrations, with relative calm across the city for the past two days and nights ahead of District Council elections set for Sunday.

Overnight, Asian markets finished lower with Shanghai Composite falling 0.78%, the Hong Kong's Hang Seng off 0.75% and Japan's Nikkei 225 down 0.62%. Banks were hit by allegations by regulators that Westpac, a bank, is suspected of violating anti-money laundering laws.

Major stock indexes in Europe also finished broadly higher.

Stocks logged modest gains Friday in Asia after a lackluster overnight session on Wall Street ended with the market's third straight drop. As a result investors were sticking to the sidelines for fear of missing out if relations were to improve, but keeping in mind that Wall Street's indexes were still near record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 109.33 points, or 0.4%, to 27,875.62.

The Nasdaq slid 20.52 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,506.21.

In energy trading Wednesday, benchmark crude oil picked up 28 cents to $55.49 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.84 to settle at $55.21 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude oil, the worldwide standard, declined 10 cents to $63.87 per barrel.

The dollar fell to 108.65 Japanese yen from 108.66 yen on Thursday.

PayPal slipped 1.5 percent after saying it would buy Honey Science, which helps people find coupons and discounts while they shop online.

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