Asian Markets Mostly Lower On U.S.-China Trade Stalemate

(RTTNews) - Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Monday and U.S. stock futures declined amid worries about the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China. Trade talks between the countries ended without a resolution last week and the U.S. hiked tariffs on about $200 billion worth of Chinese goods after the two countries failed to reach a trade deal.

The Australian market is declining as worries about the ongoing U.S.-China trade war weighed on investor sentiment. In addition, weak earnings results from Commonwealth Bank pulled down banking stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 21.90 points or 0.35 percent to 6,289.00, after touching a low of 6,277.90 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 20.10 points or 0.31 percent to 6,373.00. Australian shares closed modestly higher on Friday.

The big four banks are weak. Commonwealth Bank reported a decline in its third-cash profit after it set aside another A$714 million as provisioning for customer remediation and responding to the royal commission. The bank's shares are losing almost 3 percent.

ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank and Westpac are lower in a range of 0.6 percent to 0.9 percent, while Macquarie Group's shares are down 0.8 percent. Shares of ANZ and Macquarie Group are trading ex-dividend.

The major miners are also weak. BHP Group is declining 0.5 percent, Fortescue Metals is down 0.4 percent and Rio Tinto is edging down 0.1 percent.

Oil stocks are declining after crude oil prices edged lower on Friday and declined further in Asian trading Monday. Oil Search is losing almost 2 percent, Santos is lower by almost 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is down 0.5 percent.

Bucking the trend, gold miners are advancing after gold prices rose on Friday. Evolution Mining is rising 0.6 percent and Newcrest Mining is adding 0.5 percent.

Shares of Reliance Worldwide Corp. are falling almost 17 percent after the plumbing supply company lowered its full-year earnings outlook due to the lack of a winter freeze in the southern U.S.

Troubled fleet leaser Eclipx Group said it has received interest from several parties for its two under-performing businesses - auction site GraysOnline and accident loan car provider Right2Drive - despite these segments accounting for impairments in the company's upcoming interim results. Shares of Eclipx Group are losing almost 6 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6980, down from $0.6994 on Friday.

The Japanese market is extending its losing streak while the safe-haven yen strengthened as worries about the escalating U.S.-China trade war more than offset the positive cues from Wall Street Friday.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 140.01 points or 0.66 percent to 21,204.91, after touching a low of 21,127.93 earlier. Japanese shares closed lower on Friday.

The major exporters are lower on a stronger safe-haven yen. Panasonic is losing almost 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is declining 1 percent, Canon is lower by 0.5 percent and Sony is edging down 0.2 percent.

Among tech stocks, Advantest and Tokyo Electron are down almost 2 percent each. In the auto space, Toyota is adding 0.5 percent and Honda is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among the major banks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by 2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down more than 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is declining 0.6 percent and Japan Petroleum is lower by more than 3 percent after crude oil prices extended losses in Asian trading Monday.

Among the other major gainers, Dena Co. is rising more than 15 percent, Pacific Metals is gaining more than 12 percent and Hitachi Zosen is higher by almost 10 percent.

On the flip side, Showa Denko is losing more than 5 percent, Toho Zinc is lower by almost 5 percent and Tosoh Corp. is declining more than 4 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 109 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore is losing more than 1 percent, while Shanghai, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan are also lower. New Zealand and Indonesia are higher, while the Hong Kong market is closed for a holiday.

On Wall Street, stocks rebounded strongly on Friday after initially coming under pressure amid renewed concerns about the impact of a U.S.-China trade war after President Donald Trump followed through on his threat to raise tariffs on Chinese imports. The recovery came after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrapped up a second day of trade talks, calling the discussions "constructive."

The Dow climbed 114.01 points or 0.4 percent to 25,942.37, the Nasdaq inched up 6.35 points or 0.1 percent to 7,916.94 and the S&P 500 rose 10.68 points or 0.4 percent to 2,881.40.

The major European markets turned mixed over the course of the session. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dipped by 0.1 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.7 percent.

Crude oil pared early gains to close lower on Friday amid fears of a prolonged trade war between the world's two largest economies. WTI crude for June dipped $0.04 to close at $61.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude oil prices are down a further 0.5 percent in Asian trading Monday.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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