Asian Stock Markets Finish Mixed on Tuesday

June 26, 2018
Asian Stock Markets Finish Mixed on Tuesday

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday amid conflicting signals from the Trump administration over proposed restrictions on foreign investment in U.S. technology companies.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Twitter Monday that reports on investment restrictions by The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg news are “false, fake news”.

But Mnuchin said in a statement that a forthcoming announcement would not be aimed solely at China but will apply to all countries that are trying to steal American technology.

Further confusing matters, White House economic advisor Peter Navarro told CNBC that the Trump administration currently doesn’t have any specific countries targeted.

China’s Shanghai Composite index fell 14.83 points or 0.52 percent to 2,844.51 ahead of manufacturing and non-manufacturing data due on Saturday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index eased 0.28 percent to close at 28,881.

Japanese shares finished marginally higher after hitting 3-1/2-week lows earlier in the day on concerns over a deepening trade row between the United States and major economies. The Nikkei average ended little changed at 22,342 while the broader Topix index closed 0.16 percent higher at 1,731.07.

Department store operator Takashimaya advanced 1.8 percent after it reported a 5.7 percent rise in Q1 operating profit. Large-cap stocks succumbed to selling pressure, with Fast Retailing and SoftBank ending down 2.8 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. Discount clothing chain Shimamura plunged 15.7 percent on disappointing first-quarter results.

Australian markets fell modestly as weaker commodity prices pulled down material stocks, offsetting gains in the banking sector.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 12.80 points or 0.21 percent to 6,197.60 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 16.60 points or 0.26 percent at 6,292.10.

Mining giant BHP Billiton fell over 1 percent after it signed a deal with Brazilian authorities to settle lawsuits over a 2015 dam disaster. Rival Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group, South32 and BlueScope Steel lost 1-3 percent.

Healthcare stocks also retreated, with CSL and Cochlear declining 0.7 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Woodside Petroleum dropped 1 percent and Santos shed 0.8 percent after oil prices fell overnight.

Banks ANZ, Commonwealth and NAB closed up between 0.4 percent and 0.9 percent after falling heavily in the previous session.

In economic news, Australia’s consumer confidence weakened for the second straight time during the week ended June 24, a weekly survey compiled by the ANZ bank and Roy Morgan Research showed. The consumer confidence index dropped to 121.4 from 122.1 in the preceding week.

Dipo Olowookere

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.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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