Asian stocks extended their losses on Thursday, with major markets finishing the session lower as investors remained cautious a day before the tariffs decision from the U.S. and China are due to be implemented.
Moreover, concerns over a trade war between the U.S. and China have weighed on market sentiment in the lead-up to tariffs, both countries say will take effect on July 6th. The Trump administration has levied a 25 percent tariff on 34 billion U.S Dollars in Chinese goods, while the Chinese government has retaliated by announcing tariffs on the same value of U.S. goods.
On the Chinese Mainland, the Shanghai composite slid by 0.91 percent to close at 2,733.98, while the smaller Shenzhen composite dropped by 2.20 percent to close the session at 1,528.67.
Furthermore, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.63 percent to trade at 28,182.09, with the materials and services sectors among the worst-performing during afternoon trade. Heavily weighted financials sector eased by 0.89 percent.
Elsewhere, South Korea’s KOSPI reversed early gains, tracking lower by 0.35 percent to close at 2,257.55. Heavyweight Samsung Electronics dropped by 0.65 percent, although other tech companies finished higher. Construction names also logged declines, with Hyundai Engineering and Construction tumbling 3.98 percent.
Japanese Stock Market: Nikkei 225
Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225, lost 0.78 percent, or 170.05 points, to close the session at 21,546.99. Oil producers and retailers were among the weakest performers in the exchange, with index heavyweight Fast Retailing dropping by 2.52 percent.
Regarding specific stocks, the best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Yamaha Corp, which rose by 1.68 percent or 90.0 points to trade at 5440.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd added 1.62 percent or 67.0 points to end at 4200.0 and Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd was up by 1.40 percent or 16.0 points to 1161.0 at the end of the session.
The weakest performers of the session were Shiseido Co., Ltd, which fell by 5.03 percent or 432 points to trade at 8165.0 at the end of the session. Pacific Metals Co., Ltd lost 4.48 percent or 170.0 points to end at 3625.0 and Taiyo Yuden Co, was down by 4.05 percent or 130.0 points to 3080.0.
Australian Stock Market: ASX200
Australian shares advanced for the third time in ten sessions as modest gains by the finance sector beat out losses made in the material sector following an overnight base metal retreat.
The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 32.1 points, or 0.5 percent to 6215.5, following a quiet overnight trading session as Wall Street closed for the US’s Independence Day.
The major banks rebounded from yesterday’s poor performances, lifting the index higher with some modest gains. Commonwealth Bank led the market for most of the day, climbing 1.2 percent to 74.76 AUDUSD.
Telstra shares have rebounded from its more than 7-year low last week, rising by 1.9 percent to 2.76 on Thursday and recording six straight sessions without loss. Its shares are still down 24 by percent for the year, but optimism appears to be creeping back in following the telco’s merger of its venture business with private equity player Harbour Vest Partners.
Local gold miners enjoyed a positive day on the market as the price of the precious metal continues to rise from recent lows. In a note on Thursday morning, ANZ said that the price could break above.