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Asian markets trade mostly in red in early deals on Friday

Asian equity indices are trading lower in the early deals on Friday after US President Trump said he instructed the United States Trade Representative to consider an additional $100 billion tariffs against China. Investors are also cautious as they look ahead to the release of the US Labor Department's closely-watched monthly jobs report for March later in the day. Besides, the Japanese market slipped into negative territory after opening higher on renewed worries about a trade war and as investors digested mixed local economic data. Among the other Asian markets, South Korea, Malaysia, and Indonesia are in negative territory. Bucking the trend, Singapore and Hong Kong are also higher. The markets in Taiwan and China are closed for public holidays.

Nikkei 225 slipped 0.96 points to 21,644.46, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI dropped 2.8 points or 0.15% to 1,833.33, Jakarta Composite declined 6.91 points or 0.11% to 6,176.32, and KOSPI Index down by 11.7 points or 0.48% to 2,425.82.

On the flip side, Hang Seng increased 371.27 points or 1.26% to 29,889.96, and Straits Times up by 19.27 points or 0.57% to 3,424.92.

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