Asian Markets Fall; Chinese Inflation Jumps in November – Asian markets traded lower on Tuesday morning. Chinese stocks slipped after data showed the country’s inflation fell for the fifth month in a row.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were down 0.2% and 0.3% respectively by 10:40 PM ET (02:40 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.2%.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Tuesday that China’s producer price index was down 1.4% year-on-year, falling for the fifth month in a row. The drop compared with the 1.5% expected decline and the 1.6% fall in October.

Meanwhile, the consumer price index for November jumped 4.5% year-on-year, as food prices skyrocketed 19.1% amid an outbreak of African swine fever.

Postal Savings Bank of China Co Ltd (HK:1658) made headlines as it marked a subdued Shanghai debut. Its shares were up 1.0% at 5.57 yuan in morning trade.

On the Sino-U.S. trade front, Bloomberg reported overnight that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Washington is unlikely to impose more tariffs on Chinese exports on Dec. 15.

“We have a deadline coming up on the Dec. 15 for another tranche of tariffs, I do not believe those will be implemented and I think we may see some backing away,” Perdue said, according to Bloomberg.

In other news, China reportedly ordered all state offices to remove foreign hardware and software within three years, in a move that could hit major U.S. firms including Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Dell.

In an interview with CNBC, Neil Campling, head of technology, media and telecommunications research at Mirabaud Securities, said the move aims to protect against an escalation of tensions with the U.S.

“That is something that China is looking at to make sure government operations are not affected by escalating tensions with the U.S.,” Campling told CNBC.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1%. South Korea’s KOSPI inched up 0.2%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 traded 0.3% lower.

In the U.S., the Federal Reserve will hold its policy meeting starting later in the day. According to forecast by, the Fed is highly expected to stand pat on the key fed rate of 1.5% to 1.75%.