Trade Uncertainty Weighs on Asia Markets

Mainland Chinese shares declined on Monday amid uncertainty on the U.S.-China trade front, after tariffs on Chinese goods were raised last Friday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 153.64 points, or 0.7%, to 21,191.28, with shares of index heavyweight Softbank Group falling 3.3%.

The Japanese yen, widely viewed as a safe-haven currency, traded at 109.71 against the U.S. dollar after strengthening from levels above 110.4 in the previous week.

Markets in Hong Kong were shuttered for holiday

The Australian dollar dropped to $0.6972 U.S., following highs above $0.702 seen last week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 index doffed 61.72 points, or 1.7%, to 3,668.73

In an interview with Sunday, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to meet at the upcoming June G-20 summit in Japan.

Kudlow said the chances of such a meeting “were pretty good,” but he said there are “no concrete, definite plans” for when U.S. and Chinese negotiators will meet again.

Trade talks between U.S. and Chinese negotiators broke up on Friday without a trade agreement. The talks took place under the shadow of Trump’s threat to more than double the tariff rate to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index faded 29.03 points, or 1.4%, to 2,079.01

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index slumped 39.22 points, or 1.2%, to 3,234.28

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index tumbled 154.7 points to 1.4%, to 10,558.29

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 gained 27.46 points, or 0.3% to 10,126.83

In Australia, the ASK 200 handed back 13.26 points, or 0.2%, to 6,297.59