The summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea ended in a deadlock.
The stock exchange of Asian received the heaviest blow of the news as the shares were fluctuating throughout the day on tempered optimism over China-US trade talks, weak factory data from Beijing and fresh geopolitical tensions in Kashmir.
But they took a decisive turn south after an expected lunch and signing ceremony between the US and North Korean leaders was called off at the last minute.
European indices also mainly fell, with London down half a percentage point on persistent Brexit uncertainty, and the pound continued to struggle.
According to a XTB analyst, David Cheetam, “US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly cut short their summit in Hanoi, and in doing so cancelled a signing ceremony as the two leaders failed to make any tangible progress and agree to terms on the deal.”
The shock news came just hours after Kim raised the prospect of a permanent US diplomatic presence in Pyongyang and Trump said he was in “no rush” for a speedy deal over North Korea’s nuclear programme.
Trump later told reporters that he was not willing to give in to Kim’s demands to lift sanctions on the country.
“It was about the sanctions,” he said. “Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that.”
However, he said the talks ended on friendly terms and he was hopeful of progress further down the line.