Asian markets mixed

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Hong Kong

Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday as investors tracked developments in the China-US trade talks, while Chinese online retail titan Alibaba surged almost eight percent on its Hong Kong debut.
While the mood remains upbeat across trading floors that a partial tariffs agreement will eventually be signed, there is a sense of unease about the lack of detail from both sides.
On Tuesday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by phone to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, state media said.
The two sides “discussed solving issues regarding each other’s core concerns, reached consensus on properly resolving related issues, and agreed to maintain communication on remaining issues in consultations on the ‘phase one’ deal,” China’s official Xinhua news agency said, without providing more details.
The news came after Beijing said at the weekend it would hike penalties on violations of intellectual property rights and also look at lowering the threshold for criminal punishments of those who steal IP.
The IP issue is a major sticking point for the United States in the discussions and agreement on it is seen as key to their success. The signals from the two economic giants are growing increasingly positive and observers said there is a need for both sides to nail the partial deal, which is part of a wider agreement.—AFP