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Asian Shares Close Lower as Trade Worries Persist

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended mostly lower on Monday as trade worries persisted, oil prices declined on supply worries, Chinese manufacturing data came in softer than expected and a resolution to Germany’s government crisis proved elusive.

Crude oil prices fell more than 1 percent in Asian trading after U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that Saudi Arabia has agreed to raise oil production.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 71.65 points or 2.5 percent to 2,775.77 after surveys showed a deterioration in the outlook for Chinese manufacturing, adding to concerns over tighter government controls on lending. Hong Kong markets were closed for the SAR Day holiday.

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Japanese shares hit 2-1/2-month lows as the dollar pared back gains against the yen ahead of a July 6th deadline when the United States is due to impose tariffs on Chinese exports. A slump in China’s stock market and weak data on manufacturer sentiment also forced investors to unwind long positions.

An index monitoring business sentiment in Japan ebbed in the second quarter of 2018, the Bank of Japan said in its quarterly Tankan business survey. The large manufacturers’ index came in with a score of +21, missing expectations for +22 and down from +24 in the previous quarter.

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Separately, a Nikkei survey showed that activity in Japan’s manufacturing sector continued to expand in June, and at an accelerated rate.

The Nikkei 225 Index plunged 492.58 points or 2.2 percent to 21,811.93, marking the largest single-day loss since mid-March and the lowest closing level since April 13th. The broader Topix Index plummeted 2.1 percent to close at 1,695.29.

Defensive stocks came under selling pressure, with Kikkoman Corp. and Aeon falling around 6 percent. Sharp Corp. shares fell 7.8 percent on profit taking after moving sharply higher last Friday.

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Australian shares fell modestly as investors digested mixed data on consumer inflation, manufacturing and job advertisements and looked ahead to Reserve Bank of Australia?s monetary policy decision on Tuesday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 16.80 points or 0.3 percent to 6,177.80. The broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 16.40 points or 0.3 percent at 6,273.30.

While healthcare stocks rebounded after six straight sessions of losses, banking and realty stocks succumbed to selling pressure.

Automotive Holdings Group plunged 8.8 percent after China’s HNA Group pulled out of a A$280 million deal to buy its refrigerated logistics business.

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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