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Asia: Stocks trade mixed

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[SYDNEY] Asian stocks traded mixed Tuesday after further discussions on trade between Washington and Beijing, and a rebound in US shares overnight. India's stock futures tumbled after the surprise resignation of its central bank governor.

Benchmarks fell in Japan, fluctuated in South Korea and Hong Kong, and ticked higher in China. Shares climbed from intraday lows after a statement saying Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He discussed the timetable for trade talks with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin by phone.

US futures remained lower and Treasuries were little changed. Earlier, the S&P 500 Index recovered from the lowest intraday level since April to finish higher. The US dollar drifted and the yen pared some of Monday's losses. The pound stayed lower after a slump in the wake of UK Prime Minister Theresa May delaying a critical vote on Brexit.

"The message that you get from today's action and from Thursday and Friday is that you should expect more of this going forward," Alicia Levine, BNY Mellon Investment Management chief strategist, said on Bloomberg TV of trading in the US.

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"We are expecting volatility and we are expecting more large moves both to the upside and the downside," she said.

Traders may need to steel themselves for the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal, adding to a litany of concerns that have frayed sentiment, chief among them simmering trade tensions and clarity on the Federal Reserve's interest-rate path in 2019.

On the trade front, a bail decision is pending for the jailed chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies Co. Her arrest last week roiled global markets by raising concerns over prospects for US-China talks.

Elsewhere, oil recovered from its lowest in two weeks even as doubts grew about whether Opec and its allies can deliver enough output cuts to head off a glut.

HERE ARE SOME KEY EVENTS ON THE CALENDAR THIS WEEK:

The European Central Bank is set to cap asset purchases at its final policy meeting of 2018 on Thursday.

China industrial production, retail sales data for November is due Friday.

STOCKS

The MSCI Asia Pacific fell 0.4 per cent as of 12.15pm in Tokyo.

Japan's Topix index fell 1.1 per cent.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2 per cent after reaching a two-year low.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.3 per cent.

S&P 500 futures fell 0.3 per cent. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.2 per cent at the close of trading in New York Monday.

CURRENCIES

The Japanese yen rose 0.2 per cent to 113.10 per US dollar after decreasing 0.6 per cent.

The offshore yuan traded up 0.1 per cent to 6.9052 per US dollar after dropping 0.4 per cent.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1 per cent.

The euro was steady at US$1.1362.

The British pound rose 0.1 per cent to US$1.2573, near the weakest in almost 20 months, after sinking 1.3 per cent.

BONDS

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 2.85 per cent.

Australia's 10-year bond yield rose one basis point to 2.45 per cent.

COMMODITIES

West Texas Intermediate rose 0.6 per cent to US$51.27 a barrel. It slid 3.1 per cent Monday.

Gold traded little changed at US$1,245.57 an ounce.

BLOOMBERG