Asian markets close lower, as trade jitters continue

Asian markets close lower, as trade jitters continue

July 4, 2018 Off By Yhumi Tsun

Asian stocks closed in negative territory on Wednesday, with China markets failing to sustain gains notched in the last session as trade jitters continued to simmer ahead of a deadline when tariffs are due to take effect.

Furthermore, Investor concerns over trade have intensified this week as they await U.S. tariffs on 34 billion USD in Chinese products, which are set to kick in on Friday. The Chinese government has announced duties of its own that will target the same value of U.S. goods.

Moreover, investor sentiment has been wobbly amid uncertainty surrounding U.S. trade policy in the lead up to the July 6 deadline, with both the Shanghai composite and Shenzhen composite in bear market territory, referring to losses of at least 20 percent from 52-week highs

On the mainland, the Shanghai composite tracked lower once again, falling 0.94 percent to close at 2,760.59 after recording late gains in the previous trading session. The smaller Shenzhen composite suffered a heavier drop, closing down by 1.96 percent to trade at 1,563.00

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 1.08 percent to trade at 28,241.67, extending the previous session’s losses, with the heaviest declines seen in the energy and real estate sectors.

Meanwhile, South Korean stocks failed to hold onto early gains, with the KOSPI closing lower by 0.32 percent at 2,265.46.

Japanese stock market: Nikkei 225

Japan’s Nikkei fell for a third straight day on Wednesday, as a slide for US chip makers hit technology shares and sluggish sales pulled down index heavyweight Fast Retailing.

The Nikkei share average ended the day down 0.31 percent at 21,717.04 after dropping as low as 21,604.18 during the session.

Regarding specific stock news, Tokyo Electron dropped 4.44 percent, Advantest Corp shed 4.29 percent, SUMCO Corp fell 4.74 percent and Screen Holdings lost 4.18 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell by 0.86 percent, with chip makers sliding after Micron Technology Inc sank when a Chinese court temporarily barred it from selling 26 chip products in the mainland.

Australian Stock Market: ASX200

The Australian share market has wiped most of its gains from the previous session, falling heavily on the losses made by the financial heavyweights.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell by 26.8 points, or 0.4 percent to 6183.4, following an overnight slide on Wall Street as trade tensions rise ahead of the US’s trade tariff deadline on Friday.

The financial sector took a big hit on Wednesday, rattled by the growing trade concerns and leading the market losses. NAB was the index’s biggest weight, falling 1.3 percent to 27.38 AUD. Westpac closed 0.5 percent lower at 29.25 AUD, Commonwealth Bank fell 0.5 percent to 73.59 AUD and Macquarie closed at 121.06 AUD, down 1.7 percent.

AMP shares fell 3 percent to 3.56 AUD following a note from Shaw and Partners which said the company could face fines from the corporate regulator and settle potential lawsuits. The broker said that if the regulator ended grandfathered commissions, AMP’s pre-tax profit could be cut by 250 million AUD. It said that the company could also be forced to lower its dividends and gave AMP a 3 AUD price target.