ASIA CLOSING REPORT : 18TH-JUNE-2018 June 18, 2018 at 06:23AM




Most Asian markets fell on Monday as investors digested the escalation in trade tensions between the U.S. and China after both countries announced tariffs last week. Japan’s
Nikkei 225 declined 0.91 percent, with all sectors trading lower. South Korean markets recorded similar losses, with the benchmark Kospi down 1.08 percent and the secondary Kosdaq sinking 2.41 percent. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 bucked the trend to edge higher,
with the index last higher by 0.17 percent. Other markets in the region also came under pressure, with Singapore’s Straits Times Index losing 1.66 percent and Malaysian shares dropped around 0.8 percent. MSCI’s index of shares in Asia Pacific outside of Japan
eased 0.49 percent during Asia afternoon trade. Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia were closed on Monday for holidays

Tensions between the US and China climbed close to boiling point over the weekend as China responded to President Donald Trump’s tariffs with extra custom duties of its own.

Despite the latest dust-up on the trade front, U.S. stocks finished the last session well off the day’s lows. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.34 percent, or 84.83 points,
to close at 25,090.48, after losing as much as 280.93 points earlier.

Oil prices extended losses after slumping in the last session ahead of OPEC’s meeting in Vienna later this week. The declines also came amid the trade jitters, as energy products had
been included in the list of additional U.S. goods that China could target at a later date. Brent crude futures fell 1.01 percent to trade at $72.70 per barrel after settling more than 3 percent lower on Friday. U.S. crude futures declined 1.88 percent to

The dollar firmed slightly against a basket of currencies early on Monday, hovering just below the seven-month high of 95.131 touched on Friday amid concerns over trade. The dollar
index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies, last stood at 94.859. Against the yen, the dollar slipped to trade at 110.45 at 12:15 p.m. 

Japan logged its first trade deficit in three months in May on a surge in imports of aircraft and aircraft engines from the United States, data from Japan’s finance ministry showed Monday.
Japan posted a trade deficit of Y578.3 billion in May, overshooting an estimate for a deficit of Y21 billion in a Nikkei survey


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