World Economy

Asia Shares Drift Lower Over Trade Jitters

Asia Shares Drift Lower Over Trade JittersAsia Shares Drift Lower Over Trade Jitters

Asian stocks edged lower on Wednesday as trade jitters continued to simmer ahead of the July 6 deadline, when US tariffs on Chinese goods are due to take effect.

The yen rose against the dollar and the euro advanced amid fading political risks in Germany while oil prices remained supported by data showing a larger-than-expected fall in US stockpiles, RTTNews reported.

Chinese shares ended lower despite the yuan rising sharply against the dollar following verbal intervention by the People’s Bank of China. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index fell 27.76 points or 1% to 2,759.13. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 1.06% to close at 28,241.67, dragged down by industrials and energy stocks.

Japanese shares retreated while, the Nikkei average dropped 68.50 points or 0.31% to 21,717.04 while the broader Topix index finished marginally higher at 1,693.25.

Fast Retailing shares declined 2.2%. Advantest, Tokyo Electron and Sumco Corp tumbled 4-5% in the tech sector after a Chinese court temporarily barred Micron Technology Inc from selling 26 chip products in the mainland.

In economic releases, the services sector in Japan continued to expand in June, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from Nikkei showed with a PMI score of 51.4, up from 51.0 in May.

Australian shares closed lower as weaker commodity prices pulled down mining stocks and financials also declined after strong gains in the previous session.

The day’s economic readings proved to be a mixed bag, with retail sales and services sector data beating expectations while trade balance figures disappointed investors.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 26.80 points or 0.43% to 6,183.40 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 29.10 points or 0.46%.

Seoul stocks closed lower on institutional selling amid concerns that trade frictions between the US and other major economies could slow down global growth. The benchmark Kospi slid 7.30 points or 0.32% to 2,265.46. Chipmaker SK Hynix shed 1.3% and carmaker Hyundai Motor lost 2%.

India’s stock markets closed Wednesday’s session on a positive note. The S&P BSE Sensex rose 266.80 points, or 0.75%, to close at 35,645.40. The NSE’s Nifty50 index surged 70 points or 0.65% and settled at 10,769.90.

New Zealand shares fell modestly, dragged down by consumer staple and healthcare stocks. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 27.95 points or 0.31% to 9,025.64.

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