Asian shares slide amid escalating EU-China tensions

Asian stocks fell broadly on Tuesday after a coalition of Western nations announced sanctions on Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims. China immediately announced retaliatory sanctions against the EU that appeared broader.

China’s Shanghai Composite index dropped 31.93 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 3,411.51 as China imposed tit-for-tat sanctions about rights abuses. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended down 387.96 points, or 1.34 per cent, at 28,497.38.

Japanese shares gave up early gains to end notably lower as investors fretted over the volatility of US bond yields and steep declines in Chinese stocks on policy tightening and valuation worries. The Nikkei average fell 178.23 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 28,995.92, while the broader Topix index closed 0.94 per cent lower at 1,971.48.

Companies that rely on China led losses, with robot maker Fanuc losing 1.6 per cent and construction machinery maker Komatsu giving up 1.2 per cent. Transport firm Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha plunged as much as 7.2 per cent and Mitsui OSK Lines tumbled 5.8 per cent.

Japan Exchange Group, the operator of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, climbed 2.8 per cent after raising its full-year net profit forecast.

Australian markets gave up early gains to end slightly lower amid growing tensions between China and the West. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slipped 7.10 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 6,745.40, while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 8.40 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 6,986.60.

Lender ANZ lost 1.3 per cent while the other three big banks ended down between 0.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent. Afterpay and WiseTech Global fell more than 2 per cent in the tech space.

Miners rose, with BHP and Fortescue Metals Group rising around 1 per cent. Health care stocks also bucked the weak trend, with ResMed climbing 3.3 per cent and Sonic Healthcare adding 3.5 per cent. Pharmaceutical supplier Sigma Healthcare surged 4.5 per cent after beating its full-year earnings guidance.

Telstra added 2.5 per cent, a day after the telecommunications giant announced plans to revise its corporate structure to unlock value.

Seoul stocks fell for the third day running on concerns about rising bond yields and worsening US-China relations. The benchmark Kospi ended down 30.72 points, or 1.01 per cent, at 3,004.74. SK Hynix, Samsung SDI and LG Chem lost 2-3 per cent.

New Zealand shares rose modestly, with the benchmark NZX-50 index rising 65.25 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 12,394.34.

Kathmandu Holdings surged 8.9 per cent. The adventure sport retailer resumed dividend payments after reporting a surge in sales and profits in the first half.

US stocks ended higher overnight as Treasury yields retreated amid a slate of bond auctions and ahead of testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The Dow edged up 0.3 per cent, the S&P 500 climbed 0.7 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.2 per cent.

Source: GNA

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