Asia stocks edge off highs during Trump speech

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Stocks in Asia pared early gains as president Trump laid out his plans with both Tokyo’s Topix and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreating from their highs.

Asia-focused investors are waiting for details of any border tax or other duty – but they have been disappointed once more. Stocks however did edge lower when Mr Trump reiterated his intention to raise tariffs on importers.

He said: “currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes – but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them almost nothing.”

The Hang Seng was 0.2 per cent higher at 23,780, down from a 0.3 per cent gain as Mr Trump began. Tokyo’s export-heavy Topix was at 1,539, up 0.4 per cent from a 0.5 per cent gain earlier.

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