Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed

30-Nov-2019 Intellasia | AP | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Shares retreated further in Asia in thin holiday trading but there was no indication that worries over China-US tensions might spark a “Black Friday” sell-off.

US markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will have a half-day session on Friday.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.5 percent to 23,293.91, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 2.1 percent to 26,335.06. The Shanghai Composite index shed 0.6 percent to 2,872.01 and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gave up 0.3 percent to 6,846.00. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 1.5 percent to 2,087.96. Shares also fell in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Japan reported Friday that its factory output fell 4.2 percent in October, much worse than forecast and the biggest month-on-month drop since January 2018. The decline could mean industrial production will decline by 4 percent in the October-December quarter from the previous quarter, Tom Learmouth of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

He noted that forecasts by manufacturers do not suggest output is likely to rebound soon.

Neighbouring South Korea reported its industrial output declined 1.7 percent in October.

“It suggests the US-China trade dispute continues taking its toll on Asian economies, despite signs of some green shoots,” Jeffrey Halley of OANDA said in a report.

Stock markets fell Thursday in Europe and Asia after President Donald Trump signed a bill supporting human rights in Hong Kong, potentially increasing tensions as the US and China talk about ending their trade war.

Overnight in Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.4 percent to 7,402 and the CAC 40 in Paris gave up 0.3 percent to 5,908. Germany’s DAX declined 0.4 percent to 13,235.

US futures were modestly lower, with the contracts for both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 losing 0.3 percent and 0.2%.

New tariffs are set to kick in on many Chinese-made products as of December 15 and negotiators have said they might soon have a preliminary deal that could avert that move.

Beijing reacted with fury to Trump’s announcement that he was signing the Hong Kong human rights bill. But the legislation got nearly unanimous approval by both houses of Congress and his decision was not unexpected.

After its initial reaction, the Chinese government did not say what specific countermeasures it might take. It has stayed silent on the issue of whether the US move, viewed as meddling in internal Chinese affairs, might derail the trade talks.

In energy trading, Brent crude oil, the international standard, fell 78 cents to $63.14 per barrel.


Category: FinanceAsia

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