Nikkei, Hang Seng down again after losses on Wall Street
Asian shares finished mixed Thursday, but losing indexes pared losses as investors weighed up the latest bout of selling on Wall Street and worries about a trade war.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 NIK, -1.63% closed down nearly 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.08% fell 0.7% while South Korea’s Kospi 180721, +0.14% rose nearly 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, -0.93% finished 0.4% lower, while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.24% lost 0.3%. Stocks rose in Taiwan Y9999, +1.11% but fell in Singapore STI, -0.93%.
Among individual stocks, SoftBank Group 9984, -1.11% and Fast Retailing 9983, -2.18% fell in Tokyo trading, as did Nintendo 7974, +0.78% . In Hong Kong, Sunny Optical 2382, +1.52% and AAC 2018, -0.12% dropped, along with CSPC Pharmaceutical 1093, +0.16% . Samsung 005930, -0.12% and LG Electronics 066570, +0.26% advanced in South Korea. Mining giants BHP BHP, +0.16% and Rio Tinto RIO, -0.74% declined in Australia, as did Beach Energy BPT, -2.94% .
The latest market slide comes as investors worry that the trade war between the U.S. and China will derail global economic and corporate profit growth as it drags on with no sign of a resolution.
“The cracks in global equity markets threatened to grow wider still as relentless haven-buying of sovereign bonds overnight pushed key yields even lower and sent recession fears through stocks,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.
“Asia is unlikely to feel much relief today either with both the Nikkei 225 and the ASX 200 down.”
On Wall Street, overnight, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.21% fell 19.37 points, or 0.7%, to 2,783.02. The index had been down 1.3% earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.17% lost 221.36 points, or 0.9%, to 25,126.41. It had tumbled 409 points. The Nasdaq composite COMP, +0.27% slid 60.04 points, or 0.8%, to 7,547.31.
With two more trading days left in May, the S&P 500 is heading for a loss of 5.5%. That would be its first monthly loss since December. The market has been heading steadily lower this month as prospects for the economy have dimmed and as traders got more worried about the lingering trade feud between Washington and Beijing.
In early May the U.S. and China concluded their 11th round of trade talks with no agreement. The U.S. then more than doubled duties on $200 billion in Chinese imports, and China responded by raising its own tariffs.
Benchmark U.S. crude CLN19, -0.71% added 9 cents to $58.86 It fell 0.6% to settle at $58.81 a barrel Wednesday. Brent crude BRNN19, -1.33% , the international standard, slipped 63 cents to $68.82 per barrel.
The dollar USDJPY, -0.72% rose to 109.68 Japanese yen from 109.31 yen on Wednesday.