Asian Stocks Close Mixed Amid US-Mexico Tariff Stalemate

June 6, 2019

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Thursday after the U.S. and Mexico failed to reach a deal during their tariff talks on Wednesday.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index ended down 33.62 points or 1.2 percent at 2,827.80 after the International Monetary Fund cut China’s growth forecast for this year and next, citing downside risks and high uncertainty surrounding trade tensions.

The lender lowered the growth forecast for this year to 6.2 percent from the 6.3 percent seen in April. The projection for next year was trimmed to 6 percent from 6.1 percent.

The IMF added it expects China’s growth to gradually slow to 5.5 percent by 2024, as the economy moves towards a more sustainable growth path.

Meanwhile, stocks in Hong Kong showed a modest move to the upside, with the Hang Seng Index rising 69.84 points or 0.3 percent to 26,965.28.

Japanese shares ended roughly flat amid trade uncertainties after the U.S. and Mexico failed to reach a deal on immigration issues. The Nikkei 225 Index fluctuated before finishing marginally lower at 20,774.04. The broader Topix closed 0.3 percent lower at 1,524.91.

Exporters Panasonic, Sony and Honda Motor fell 1-2 percent as the yen hit a five-month high after the release of weak private jobs data from the U.S.

Nissan Motor declined 1.7 percent and Mitsubishi Motors plunged 5.9 percent as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV abruptly withdrew its offer to combine with Renault SA, the alliance partner of the two Japanese firms.

Murata Manufacturing, TDK and Taiyo Yuden lost 3-5 percent amid uncertainties over the global trade environment.

On the other hand, Rakuten soared 4.7 percent after the e-commerce company announced a tie-up with East Japan Railway on cashless services.

Australian stocks gained ground as financials extended gains for a third straight session. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 24.50 points or 0.4 percent to 6,383.00, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 22.80 points or 0.4 percent at 6,466.40.

The big four banks rose between 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent on expectations the Reserve Bank’s decision to cut its official interest rate to a record low will improve housing affordability.

Bank of Queensland gained 1 percent after appointing George Frazis, outgoing head of consumer banking at Westpac, as its chief executive and managing director.

Santos gained over 1 percent after confirming a major oil and gas resource at its Dorado-2 appraisal well in Western Australia.

Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search and Origin Energy edged lower as U.S. oil prices plunged back into a bear market. Miners BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group dropped 1-3 percent after copper weakened to a five-month low.

In economic news, Australia’s trade surplus unexpectedly dipped to A$4.87 billion in April from A$4.88 billion in March on higher imports, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed.

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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