Trade tensions weigh on Asia markets

Asian markets were broadly negative on Monday, amid reports over the weekend that the U.S. could be imposing new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods as early as this week.

Markets in Japan were shuttered for holiday Monday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng collapsed 353.56, or 1.3%, to 26,932.85.

Some gaming stocks in Hong Kong bounced back in the afternoon, after casinos in Macau were forced to shut on Saturday with the arrival of Typhoon Mangkhut.

Late in the afternoon, Galaxy Entertainment Group's stock still traded lower by 1.7% while SJM Holdings declined by 0.6%. Wynn Macau, Sands China and Melco International Development, on the other hand, saw a reversal from their earlier losses. Wynn was up by 0.4%, while Sands saw gains of 1.1% and Melco rose by 0.4%

The casinos returned to operations on Monday though challenges remained in restoring power to those affected by outages over the weekend.

Korean markets were weighed down, with industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics sliding 1.5%.

Australian markets bucked the trend and poked a little higher, as the financial sector gained by 0.6%. National Australia Bank's shares gained 0.8% following an earlier announcement regarding the departure of a top executive at its consumer banking division.

Stocks in the health care sector Down Under dove on Monday morning, on the back of an announcement by the Australian government that a commission into the aged care sector had been established.

The overall health-care sector on the ASX 200 saw a decline of 0.9% for the day, with some companies in the health care space seeing steep falls. Regis Healthcare's stock plunged by 17.1% while shares of Estia Health dropped by 18.6%, with Japara Healthcare following the overall trend by closing 17%.

On Sunday, the Australian Prime Minister's office announced that a commission has been set up to examine the quality of aged care provided in the "Residential and Home" settings.

The Japanese yen remained slightly stronger again against the U.S. dollar at 111.98 while the Australian dollar held on to its slight gain at $0.7155 U.S.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 slumped 37.17 points, or 1.2%, to 3,204.92

On Sunday, media reports circulated that that the new round of tariffs on Chinese goods was being readied ahead of the scheduled trade talks with Beijing, in line with an earlier report by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday that said the White House was set to impose the tariffs at 10% instead of the earlier number of 25%.

The Journal then followed up with another report on Sunday citing Chinese officials saying that Beijing could decline to participate in the proposed trade talks with the U.S. if Washington goes ahead with imposing the additional tariffs on Chinese imports.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times STI index gave back 20.02 points, or 0.6%, to 3,141.40

In Korea, the Kospi index faded 15.24 points, or 0.7%, to 2,303.01

In Taiwan, the Taiex index dropped 39.53 points, or 0.4%, to 10,828.61

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 inched higher 0.77 points to 9,271.53

In Australia, the ASX 200 improved 19.64 points, or 0.3%, to 6,184.97