U.S. markets edged lower on Monday morning as investors continued to wait for negotiations regarding the U.S.-China trade talks. Moreover, markets became weary after North Korea called for “offensive measures” to protect itself.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped by 115.68 points or 0.4% during early morning trading sessions. The S&P 500 declined by 14.66 points or 0.45%, while the Nasdaq Composite gapped lower by 77.11 points or 0.86%.
U.S. markets have been on a bullish run since August after the U.S. and China were closer to reaching a deal. Markets skyrocketed during the month of December after the two parties agreed on the “phase one” trade negotiations.
In mid-December, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he was “very confident” that the U.S. and China will sign the phase one trade deal in early January.
However, on Monday, investors became concerned as they waited for further matters regarding the trade talks.
Additionally, investors also became worried after North Korean media reported that North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un called for his military and diplomats to prepare unspecified “offensive measures” to protect the country’s security and sovereignty, according to MarketWatch.
Kim has set an end-of-year deadline for the U.S. to make major concessions to salvage a nuclear diplomacy that hit a major setback at a summit meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Asia markets were rattled amid the reports. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell by 181.1 points or 0.76%, while South Korea’s KOSPI fell by 0.3%. Markets across Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia also edged lower.
However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.6%. The Shanghai Composite gained 1.16%, while the Shenzhen Composite rose by 0.92%.