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Asian Equities Remain Underwater as Trump Escalates Trade Tensions

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended mostly lower on Tuesday as an escalation of trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as rising military tensions between the two countries dented investors? appetite for risk.

After announcing a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said it was ?too early to talk? with China to resolve the trade dispute between the two nations.

Media reports also suggest that the Chinese military has dropped high-level security talks planned for mid-October with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

China?s financial markets remained closed for the week-long National Day holidays. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slumped 662.14 points or 2.4 percent to finish at 27,126.38 as traders returned to their desks after a long holiday weekend.

Investors fretted about the outlook for China?s economy after data released over the weekend showed a slowdown in the Chinese manufacturing sector in September.

Meanwhile, Japanese shares closed at a fresh 27-year high as a weaker yen boosted investor optimism over corporate earnings growth. The Nikkei 225 Index inched up 24.86 points or 0.1 percent to 24,270.62, while the broader Topix Index closed 0.3 percent higher at 1,824.03.

Exporters Canon, Honda Motor, Toyota Motor and Panasonic rallied 1-3 percent. Ono Pharmaceutical jumped over 3 percent on news that a Nobel Prize was awarded to researchers for a cancer-fighting method used in its drug Opdivo.

On the other hand, discount clothing chain Shimamura tumbled 8.2 percent after cutting its profit forecast for the year ending February 2019.

Australian shares fell notably, led down by banks after the release of the Royal Commission’s interim report last week. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 46.10 points or 0.8 percent to 6,126.20, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 46.90 points or 0.8 percent at 6,245.80.

Financials extended recent losses, with the big four banks closing down between 0.7 percent and 1.2 percent. Investment bank Macquarie Group declined 1.6 percent and insurer Suncorp shed 1.3 percent.

AMP tumbled 2.9 percent on news that corporate watchdog ASIC was preparing to launch the first royal commission-related legal action against the wealth manager over the fees-for-no-service scandal.

Gold miner Evolution Mining dropped 1.1 percent, Newcrest lost 1.9 percent and St Barbara gave up 2.6 percent after the precious metal hit a six-week low last week.

Surging oil prices helped lift energy stocks, with Beach Energy, Santos and Origin Energy rising between half a percent and 1.3 percent.

Australia’s central bank today left its benchmark interest rate unchanged, as widely expected, saying the low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy.

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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