Asian Stock Markets Soft On Renewed Trade Tensions

Asian stock markets turned in a soft Thursday, after the Trump Administration said it was considering broader and deeper tariffs against imports from China. Hong Kong led decliners by falling 2.21%, while Shanghai and Tokyo also finished in red, along with regional exchanges. Mumbai stocks, setting all-time record highs earlier in the week, fell back also.

The Nikkei 225 retreated 1.03% on the renewed trade tensions. The benchmark index fell 234.17 to 22,512.53, as losing issues outnumbered gainers 165 to 51.

Leading the upside on a down day were paper-maker Oji Holdings (OJIPF, 3861:Tokyo), up 8.0%, followed by chemical concern Asahi Kasei (AHKSY, 3407:Tokyo), up 6.2%, and packaging-maker Toyo Seikan, (5406:Tokyo) up 4.5%.

On the downside were Furukawa Electric (FUWAY, 5801:Tokyo), off 10.0%, and Kobe Steel (KBSTY, 5406:Tokyo), off 9.6% on a disappointing earnings report.

In economic news, Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya said the central bank has no timeframe to end its present monetary policy.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index declined 2.21%, after the Trump Administration said it may broaden and increase tariffs on Chinese imports.

The broad gauge Hang Seng fell 626.18 to 27,714.56, as losing issues outnumbered gainers 49 to one.

The lone gainer was old-line conglomerate and developer Wharf Real Estate (1997:HK), up 0.5%. Losing less than the rest were developer China Resources Land (1038:HK), off 0.1%, and then CK Infrastructure (6:HK), off 0.1%.

On the downside were Macau gaming-house Galaxy Entertainment (27:HK), off 5.3% after an official report on Macau-enclave gaming revenue was released, and then Geely Automotive (175:HK), off 4.0%.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite fell 2.00% to 2,768.02.

On the other exchanges, the S. Korean Kospi declined 1.60%; the Taiwan TWSE fell 1.68%; the Australian ASX 200 declined 0.56%; the Singapore Straits Times Index fell 1.28%; and the Thai Set declined 0.80%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was off 0.80%.