Asian Stocks Fall as US, EU Plan to Remove Trade Barriers

July 26, 2018

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks finished mostly lower on Thursday despite U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker agreeing to work towards eliminating trade barriers on industrial goods.

The U.S. and the EU have agreed to work for zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto goods. They also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture, including greater U.S. soybean exports to the EU.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 21.42 points or 0.7 percent to 2,882.23, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.5 percent to close at 28,781.14.

Japanese shares ended a choppy session slightly lower as the yen gained ground on speculation the Bank of Japan could scale back its stimulus program next week.

The Nikkei 225 Index dipped 27.38 points or 0.1 percent to 22,586.87, while the broader Topix Index closed up 0.7 percent at a five-week high of 1,765.78 on easing trade worries and on optimism that companies’ earnings growth will improve further.

Advantest soared 6.3 percent and Shin-etsu Chemical advanced 1.6 percent on solid earnings. Market heavyweight Fast Retailing dropped 1.8 percent to extend recent losses and Softbank shares declined 3.3 percent. Robot maker Fanuc shed 3.7 percent on concerns about a slowdown in its factory automation business.

Australian shares closed marginally lower in light trade as financials retreated, offsetting gains in resource stocks. Macquarie Group tumbled 2.6 percent as the investment bank announced a new chief executive. The big four banks closed flat to slightly lower.

Mining heavyweight Rio Tinto dropped 1.3 percent while smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group fell as much as 3.7 percent.

Oil & gas producer Santos rallied 2.3 percent and Beach Energy advanced 1.7 percent as oil prices extended gains into a third day. Gold miner Newcrest jumped 4.6 percent after it reported 15 percent growth in fourth-quarter gold output.

Broadcaster Nine Entertainment plunged more than 10 percent while publisher Fairfax Media soared 8.4 percent after the companies said they would combine into a $4 billion media giant.

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]

Leave a Reply

Previous Story

European Stocks Surge as Investors Await ECB Outcome on Rates

Next Story

Oando Holds 41st AGM in Lagos on Friday

Latest from Economy