Asian shares were mostly lower on Thursday, as traders eyed the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping later today.
Trump has expressed ahead of the Florida summit that North Korea will be an important area of focus after the hermit state’s recent launch of a ballistic missile. Trade will also be in focus during the two-day summit, but it is not likely that major breakthroughs will be made, according to a note from DBS.
"(The) market is keeping expectations low for tangible outcomes in regards to trade and currency from the meeting. In particular, the yuan forwards' discount to the spot prices remains stable. It suggests investors see Trump's tough talk on currency manipulation a limited impact on Beijing's currency regime," the note added.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.40 percent or 264.21 points to end at 18,597.03 and the Topix plummeted by 1.63 percent or 264.21 points to close at 1,480.18. The yen traded at a 4-1/2 month high at 110.50 against the dollar on safe-haven buying.
The Kospi index of South Korea went down 0.37 percent or 8.10 points to 2,152.75. Australian benchmark ASX 200 closed 0.34 percent or 19.897 points lower, weighed down by its telecommunications and financials sub-indexes.
On the opposite end of the stick, the Shanghai Composite was higher by 0.35 percent or 11.29 points to close at 3,281.60, while the Shenzhen Composite 0.297 percent or 6 points to end at 2,029.21.
However, the Hang Seng Index of Hong Kong went down 0.39 percent.