Shares in Hong Kong were down at the break on Monday as investors fret over the China-US trade talks after Donald Trump said he did not want make a piecemeal agreement.

The Hang Seng Index fell 0.9 percent, or 228 points to 26,207.

“I’m not looking for a partial deal. I’m looking for a complete deal,” the US president told reporters at the White House.

He added that he did not see the need for an agreement before the 2020 presidential election.

The remarks tempered recent optimism on the talks, though came as China hailed progress in preparatory discussions ahead of a planned high-level meeting next month.

“The hot and then cold and then hot and cold again US-China trade vibes continue to rattle markets,” said Rodrigo Catril at National Australia Bank.

“Hopes of a potential interim trade deal had boosted sentiment ahead of last week’s China’s trade delegation visit to the US, but in the end it seems that the inability to find common ground in key contentious issues such as intellectual property rights resulted yet again in an increase in tensions.”

Shanghai shed 1.3 percent, while South Korea dropped 0.1 percent. Tokyo’s markets were closed for a holiday. (AFP)