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A general view of a Australian flag is seen during a welcome ceremony for Australia’s then Prime Minister Julia Gillard outside the Great Hall of the People on April 9, 2013 in Beijing, China.

Feng Li | Getty Images

Australia is investigating media reports that China has stopped taking its coal shipments, Australia’s trade minister said on Tuesday, playing down a potential sign of escalating trade tensions between the two countries.

Speaking on breakfast television, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the government was seeking a response from China while noting that coal flows to the country had been disrupted in recent years partly due to Chinese “domestic factors.”

Diplomatic relations soured in 2018 when Australia banned China’s Huawei Technologies from participating in its nascent fifth-generation (5G) broadband network. Australia’s call for an independent inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus – which first emerged in China – further angered

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Trading in Tokyo’s stock markets, which are among the world’s biggest, was halted for the whole day Thursday after the system was hit by one of its worst ever glitches.

A technical problem involving the delivery of market information was flagged to the operator of the Tokyo Stock Exchange operator and business was stopped less than half an hour before the opening bell.

The decision not to open for the rest of the day was taken around noon, with Japan Exchange Group giving no further details on the cause.

“TSE has decided to halt all listed stocks for all of today. When trade will resume has not yet been decided,” it said in a statement, which added that a decision on whether to resume Friday will be announced later.

The glitch hit the country’s top Nikkei 225 and Topix indexes as well as exchanges in Nagoya, Sapporo and Fukuoka that

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