The Trump administration decided to grant a new extension which allowed U.S. companies to continue doing business with China's Huawei, stoking hopes of a truce.
However, CNBC reported overnight that China was "pessimistic" about a trade agreement because of U.S. President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs.
"The trade-talks are starting to look more like an iceberg, and not a lighthouse," Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA said in a note.
Singapore stocks fell 0.7% to hit a near 3-week low.
Index heavyweights Jardine Matheson Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings shed 1.8% each.
The Philippines benchmark snapped four straight sessions of losses to end 0.4% higher. Power retailer Aboitiz Power Corp added 2.4%, while telco Globe Telecom gained 0.9%.
Indonesian shares rose 0.48%, buoyed by financials.
Shares of PT Bank Central Asia rose 0.6% while PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) added 2.5%, both hitting their highest level in nearly two weeks.
Meanwhile, Malaysian equities recovered from losses suffered earlier in the session to end flat.
The index had fallen as much as 0.6% earlier after a minister said that the country would enforce new food safety regulations under consideration by the European Union on palm oil by 2021.
Palm oil growers faced added challenges, with government officials also saying they would mandate the palm oil industry to meet certain workers' rights and environmental protection standards by 2020.
Losses suffered by palm oil cultivators like PPB Group and Hap Seng Consolidated were offset by gains by financial stocks such as Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank.
Vietnamese equities tacked on 0.6%, lifted by financial stocks.
By Arundhati Dutta