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return  tonumber('-0x12345678')

There is certainly some inconsistency there, and perhaps the Lua code should detect the leading "-" sign, if it is going to do the hex conversion itself.

I ran into this some time ago in testing my 32bit implementation
of Lua for the ARM7.

Lua does not handle a leading - in number conversions, it's
a unary minus operator as far as the parser is concerned.