The Latest: US, China leave future of trade talks unclear

A woman tries out a sweater at a U.S. retailer GAP's flagship store in Beijing, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. Uncertainty over the outcome of China-U.S. trade talks is casting a pall over Asian markets as both sides kept quiet about what lies ahead. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

China says trade talks with US 'laid foundation' for more negotiations, but no clear word on progress; Asian markets fall back

BEIJING — The Latest on trade tensions between China and the U.S. (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

China's Ministry of Commerce says talks with the United States aimed at ending a tariff war 'laid the foundation' for resolving concerns on both sides.

A ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said Thursday the two sides displayed "serious, careful and frank attitudes."

Echoing a ministry statement issued earlier Thursday, Gao said the talks "enhanced mutual understanding and laid a foundation for addressing each other's concerns."

Washington said the talks focused on China's promise to buy more American exports but also emphasized U.S. pressure for action on Beijing's technology policy, market access and cyber spying.

The two sides gave no indication what their next step will be.

Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed Dec. 1 to postpone any further tariff hikes in their dispute over Chinese technology ambitions for 90 days.

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2:30 p.m.

The United States says talks on ending a bruising trade war focused on Chinese promises to buy more American goods but gave no indication of progress on Beijing's technology ambitions and other thorny issues.

China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday the two sides would "maintain close contact."

But neither gave any indication of the next step during their 90-day cease-fire in a tariff fight that threatens to chill global economic growth. That uncertainty pulled share prices lower Thursday.

Share prices had risen Wednesday after President Donald Trump fueled optimism about possible progress by saying on Twitter talks were "going well!"

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10:45 a.m.

Most Asian markets have opened lower after China and the U.S. wrapped up trade talks without indicating if they made progress on resolving a dispute over Chinese technology policies that has the world's two biggest economies embroiled in a bruising trade war.

The talks were the first face-to-face meetings since Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to suspend tariff increases during negotiations.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce issued a statement Thursday saying there were "detailed exchanges" and would "maintain close contact" but gave no details.

A statement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative didn't characterize the tone of the talks or say what would happen next. It said U.S. negotiators would await "guidance on the next steps" after reporting back to Washington.

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