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Asian Stocks Slump as Markets Close for Public Holidays

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended mostly lower on Monday as Beijing cancelled upcoming talks with the U.S. and a new round of tariffs between China and the United States came into effect, ending hopes of a resolution to the trade dispute.

Trading activity was subdued as markets in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan were closed for public holidays.

Australian shares fell slightly, led down by banks and financials. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped 7.70 points or 0.1 percent to 6,186.90, while the broader All Ordinaries Index closed marginally lower at 6,299.50.

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Lower commodity prices pulled down material stocks, with Rio Tinto, South32 and Fortescue Metals Group losing 1-3 percent. Gold miner Evolution Mining lost 5.3 percent and Newcrest Mining dropped 1.6 percent.

Banks and insurers ended on a mixed note after damaging testimony of a powerful inquiry into the financial sector.

AGL Energy, Victoria’s largest energy supplier, shed 0.9 percent after it has been fined almost A$3 million for failing to provide efficiency data to the Essential Services Commission. Drugmaker CSL declined 1.4 percent.

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New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 38.46 points or 0.41 percent to
9,337.51, dragged down by consumer staple stocks.

Dairy giant A2 Milk fell more than 6 percent to post its biggest intraday loss in nearly four months before ending 5.4 percent lower at $11.84 after chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka sold her entire stake in the company.

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Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite index was losing 1.3 percent and Malaysia’s KLSE Composite index was declining 0.7 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled 1.6 percent as U.S. tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods officially kicked in and Beijing also retaliated with levies on $60 billion in U.S. goods.

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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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