Asian shares edge down as US-China trade war begins

Published: July 06, 2018 11:52:28 | Updated: July 09, 2018 11:30:16

Asian shares edge down Friday as investors braced for the implementation of US tariffs on Chinese imports at midnight Washington time, and likely similar measures by Beijing on US exports.

Upbeat economic data and overnight gains on US stock markets helped temper concerns but trading volume was light, reports AP.

China's Shanghai Composite Index sank 0.8 per cent to 2,712.88. The Shanghai benchmark has languished recently, losing more than 12 per cent over the past two weeks.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.5 per cent to 28,055.08, while South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.3 per cent to 2,251.63. Markets in Taiwan, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries were also lower.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 bucked the region's trend, adding 0.7 per cent to 21,691.89 in what appeared to be a technical rebound after a four-day losing streak. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.5 per cent to 6,243.30.

On Friday the US is set to impose a 25 per cent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. China is expected to strike back with tariffs on a similar amount of US exports including soybeans.

Overnight, Wall Street finished higher on Thursday. Upbeat US economic data helped as reports showed US service firms expanding at a surprisingly strong pace in June.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.9 per cent to 2,736.61. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 per cent to 24,356.74. The Nasdaq composite added 1.1 per cent to 7,586.43.

Benchmark US crude dropped 16 cents to $72.78 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract plunged $1.20, or 1.6 per cent, to settle at $72.94 per barrel.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 31 cents to $77.08 per barrel in London. It slid 85 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to close at $77.39 per barrel on Thursday.

The dollar strengthened to 110.67 yen from 110.60 yen while the euro fell to $1.1687 from $1.1691.

Share if you like