Asian Shares Tumble as US, China Trade Dispute Intensifies

June 20, 2018
Asian Shares Tumble as US, China Trade Dispute Intensifies

By Investors Hub

Asian shares tumbled on Tuesday as a trade dispute between the U.S. and China intensified and oil turned volatile ahead of a critical meeting of crude-producing nations that will determine whether it’s time to ramp up production.

Traders eyed looming trade wars after President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing vowed to ?immediately? retaliate.

Chinese stocks hit a two-year low and the yuan weakened after the Ministry of Commerce vowed to retaliate with ?strong? countermeasures against U.S. companies, deepening a trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plunged 115.47 points or 3.8 percent to 2,906.43, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plummeted 841.34 points or 2.8 percent to close at 29,468.15.

Japanese shares posted their biggest single-day loss in three months to reach 2-1/2-week lows as a strong yen amid escalating global trade tensions soured investors’ appetite for risk.

The Nikkei 225 Index ended down 401.85 points or 1.8 percent at 22,278.48, the lowest level since June 1st, as the dollar fell below 110 yen. The broader Topix Index closed 1.6 percent lower at 1,743.92.

China-related Komatsu fell 2.5 percent and Hitachi Construction Machinery dropped 1.5 percent. Fujifilm Holdings shed 1.6 percent after it sued Xerox for a canceled merger. Flea market app Mercari soared 76.7 percent from its IPO price on its debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Australian shares gave up early gains to finish marginally lower as the Reserve Bank of Australia?s June board meeting minutes offered little surprise on the macro front. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index closed just below the unchanged line at 6,102.10.

Mineral Resources slumped 4.4 percent as junior miner Atlas Iron gave it three days to match a buyout offer from Hancock Prospecting.

Meanwhile, healthcare stocks such as CSL and Cochlear climbed 1-3 percent as the Aussie dollar extended its slide to hit a fresh 2018 low.

Energy stocks such as Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search all rose about 1 percent, helped by an overnight rebound in crude oil prices. Macquarie Group rallied 1.8 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded the investment bank’s stock rating. The big four banks ended on a mixed note.

IAG jumped 2.4 percent after it entered into an agreement with Japanese insurer Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. to sell its Thai and Indonesian operations.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

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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