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Asian Markets Fall; Trade War, Comments from U.S. Fed’s Bullard in Focus - Asian markets traded lower in morning trade on Tuesday as concerns about the U.S.-China trade war continue to dent sentiment. Comments by a U.S. Federal Reserve official that a rate cut may be “warranted soon” were also in focus.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were both down 1.1% by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.7%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.2%. South Korea’s KOSPI also declined by 0.2%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 edged up 0.1%.

Developments in the Sino-U.S. trade war continued to make headlines. On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration said China was pursuing a “blame game” and Washington reiterated its view that China “backpedalled” on key elements of a trade deal that had been largely agreed.

“Our insistence on detailed and enforceable commitments from the Chinese in no way constitutes a threat to Chinese sovereignty,” the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Treasury said in a joint statement. “Rather, the issues discussed are common to trade agreements and are necessary to address the systemic issues that have contributed to persistent and unsustainable trade deficits.”

The remarks came after China issued a government policy paper over the weekend that claimed the U.S. is responsible for the setback in negotiations.

In other news, Federal Open Market Committee voting member James Bullard said on Monday that an interest rate cut “may be warranted soon” amid ongoing global trade tension and weak U.S. inflation.

The Fed “faces an economy that is expected to grow more slowly going forward, with some risk that the slowdown could be sharper than expected due to ongoing global trade regime uncertainty,” he said.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore’s latest PMI reading also received some focus The index fell to 49.9 in May, dropping below 50 for the first time in almost 3 years, according to data from the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management.

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