Asia report: Most markets lower ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 25 Jun 2019

Asia report: Most markets lower ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

(Sharecast News) - Markets in Asia took a tumble on Tuesday, as investors digested fresh sanctions placed on Iran by the United States, and looked ahead to a meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping later in the week.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.43% at 21,193.81, as the yen strengthened 0.26% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 107.02.

Of the major components on the benchmark index, automation specialist Fanuc was down 1.57%, fashion firm Fast Retailing lost 0.66%, and technology conglomerate SoftBank Group was off 1.04%.

The broader Topix index was 0.27% lower in Tokyo, closing its session at 1,543.49.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.87% to close at 2,982.07, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite fell 0.99% to 1,560.46.

Banks were on the back foot in China, as investor concerns around more lending to smaller companies began to increase.

Bank of Communications was down 3.02% and China Construction Bank was off 1.34% in mainland trading, respectively.

South Korea's Kospi was 0.22% weaker at 2,121.64, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong slid 1.15% to settle at 28,185.98.

The blue-chip technology stocks were mixed in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics last up 0.22%, while chipmaker SK Hynix was down 0.3%.

Investors were looking towards a hotly anticipated meeting between US president Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, set to take place at the G20 summit in Japan later in the week.

Hopes are that the pair can at least make some concessions over their ongoing trade conflict, although optimism for a full trade deal remained thin.

In a statement on Tuesday, Beijing's Ministry of Commerce claimed that the country's vice-premier Liu He had talked with US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer in a phone call on Monday.

According to China officials, the trio has discussed trade and agreed that an open dialogue should be maintained.

"It goes without saying that the longer-term bearings of an escalating trade war will likely be felt increasingly on the global economy," said London Capital Group senior market analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya.

"Given the tiny hope on the geopolitical scene, investors now turn to the Fed - a more accommodative monetary policy could help them go through the hard times.

"Once again, the markets need an antidepressant move from the Fed to relieve the pain."

Markets were also watching for developments in the Middle East, after Washington slapped fresh sanctions on Tehran overnight after the shooting down of an unmanned US drone last week.

Oil prices were mixed as the region went to bed, with Brent crude last down 0.02% at $64.85 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate rose 0.05% to $57.93.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.11% to 6,658.00 in Sydney trading.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 was the odd one out in the region, rising 0.3% to 10,418.29.

Both of the down under dollars were stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.13% at AUD 1.4342, and the Kiwi advancing 0.49% to NZD 1.5035.


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