India, March 22 -- Most of the Asian equity benchmarks are trading in red in the early deals on Friday as caution set in ahead of U.S.-China trade talks in Beijing next week. The Japanese market is lower after a report that inflation slowed slightly in February. The core consumer price index rose 0.7 percent from a year earlier, compared with January's 0.8 percent gain. Among the other Asian markets, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Malaysia, and Singapore are lower. Bucking the trend, Taiwan and South Korea are higher.

Nikkei 225 dropped 24.59 points or 0.11% to 21,584.33, Jakarta Composite dipped 3.09 points or 0.05% to 6,498.69, Hang Seng slipped 158.01 points or 0.54% to 28,913.55, Shanghai Composite contracted 23.90 points or 0.77% to ...