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Asian Stocks Fall as Beijing Snubs Talks With Washington

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks fell on Monday after trade talks between chief U.S. and Canadian negotiators ended inconclusively last week and the Wall Street Journal reported that Beijing is considering declining the offer of talks with the U.S. aimed at diffusing trade tensions, as it isn?t prepared to negotiate with a ?gun pointed to its head.?

Sentiment was also dented after reports that President Donald Trump has instructed aides to proceed with plans to impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as early as this week.

The markets in Japan and Malaysia closed were closed for Respect for the Aged Day and Malaysia Day holidays, respectively.

Chinese shares fell sharply as trade concerns resurfaced before the U.S. announcement of new U.S. tariffs on Chinese products.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 29.85 points or 1.1 percent to 2,651.79, a fresh three-year low. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged 353.56 points or 1.3 percent to 26,932.85 as gambling operators suffered heavy declines with the arrival of Typhoon Mangkhut.

Seoul stocks ended notably lower as investors fretted about trade frictions between the U.S. and China. The benchmark Kospi fell 15.24 points or 0.7 percent to 2,303.01.

Technology companies and beauty product makers paced the decliners, with Samsung Electronics losing 1.5 percent and AmorePacific declining 1.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Australian markets closed higher despite heavy losses in the healthcare sector. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 19.70 points or 0.3 percent to 6,185.00, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 17.60 points or 0.3 percent at 6,293.90.

National Australia Bank gained 0.8 percent after the bank announced the departure of a top consumer banking executive over misconduct. The other three major banks ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac rose between half a percent and 0.9 percent.

Mining heavyweight BHP Billiton dropped 0.7 percent and smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group declined 1.4 percent. Energy stocks closed mostly higher, with Oil Search, Beach Energy and Santos rising between half a percent and 1.5 percent.

Healthcare stocks suffered heavy losses on news of a public inquiry into residential and in-home care. Regis Healthcare slumped 17 percent, Estia Health tumbled 18.6 percent and Japara Healthcare lost 17 percent.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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