Asian markets declined on Thursday in morning session after Canadian authorities arrested a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies, fanning fears of further tensions between China and the US.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.27% while the Topix index declined by 1.17%. South Korea's Kospi also shed 0.47%, as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics dropped more than 1.3%.
In Australia, the ASX 200 slipped more than 0.6% in morning trade, with its sectors mixed. The energy subindex fell by 0.7% ahead of Thursday's Opec meeting.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.05%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index declined 2.34%.
While China’s pledge on Wednesday to move quickly on trade commitments to the US had helped ease selling pressure in equities yesterday, news that Canada has arrested the CFO of Huawei and may extradite her to the US put a damper on sentiment.
Opec and other top oil producing countries are set to meet later on Thursday in Austria, with a series of issues on the line. Chief among those is the discussion surrounding crude output policy.
Ahead of the anticipated Opec meeting, shares of oil-related companies in Asia were mostly lower. In Australia, Santos slipped 1.22% while Woodside Petroleum declined 0.66%. Origin Energy declined by 0.22%.
In Japan, Inpex shed 0.46% and Fuji Oil fell 1.75%. South Korea's S-Oil slipped 0.89% while SK Innovation declined by 1.76%.
In currency news, the Australian dollar was at $0.7254 after sliding from the $0.735 handle yesterday. The moves Down Under came after the country's trade surplus for the month of October missed forecasts, coming in at around A$2.3 billion instead of the expected A$3.2 billion from a Reuters poll.
US markets were closed on Wednesday to mark the death of former President George H.W. Bush.