Asian shares fall amid global tensions, worries about growth

11-Apr-2019 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Asian shares fell Wednesday following a slide on Wall Street amid growing tensions between the US and the European Union and a dim forecast on global economic growth.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped nearly 0.8 percent in morning trading to 21,635.16. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped nearly 0.1 percent to 6,217.30. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2 percent at 2,209.21. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.8 percent to 29,925.15, while the Shanghai Composite was down nearly 0.9 percent at 3,211.36.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index fell 17.57 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,878.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 190.44 points, or 0.7 percent, to 26,150.58. The Nasdaq composite slid 44.61 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,909.28. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks gave up 19.32 points, or 1.2 percent, or 1,559.68.

European indexes also finished broadly lower, giving up early gains, after the US threatened to impose $11.2 billion in tariffs on European products, including cheese, wine and helicopters.

The threat from President Donald Trump could make investors even more concerned about trade disputes hurting an already slowing global economy at a time when the US is trying to resolve a trade conflict with China.

That spat has already made a list of goods more expensive for consumers and is weighing on an already slowing Chinese economy. Negotiators met again last week and both sides have said they are making progress.

Traders also were disappointed to see that the International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for global growth this year. The IMF now projects 3.3 percent global growth in 2019, matching the weakest year since 2009. The US fared particularly poorly in the report, with growth now expected at 2.3 percent, down from 2.9 percent in 2018.

Investors will get more clues about the Fed’s intentions Wednesday, when the central bank releases minutes from its latest policy meeting. The European Central Bank will also meet Wednesday.

“Amid the sporing of growth and trade tension concerns once again, sentiments in Asia markets have once again been undermined,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.


Benchmark US crude rose 11 cents to $64.09. It fell 0.7 percent to settle at $63.98 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude added 4 cents to $70.65 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.14 yen from 111.28 yen Tuesday. The euro inched down to $1.1257 from $1.1277.


Category: FinanceAsia

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