Asia Mostly Lower as Trade War Intensifies

Shares in Asia were lower on Tuesday, a day after Beijing raised tariffs on some American goods in retaliation for Washington’s decision last week to increase duties on Chinese products.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 sank 124.05 points, or 0.6%, to 21,067.23, with shares of index heavyweight and conglomerate Softbank Group plunging 5.4%.

The Japanese yen, widely viewed as a safe-haven currency, traded at 109.67 against the U.S. dollar after touching an earlier high of 109.13.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng returned from a long weekend to dump 428.22 points, or 1.5%, to 28,122.02, with shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent dropping more than 2.5%.

Korean stocks squeezed up Tuesday, as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix jumped 1.5%.

Australian markets trucked lower, with most sectors negative. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6951 U.S. after slipping from levels above $0.696 yesterday.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 index doffed 23.58 points, or 0.6%, to 3,645.15

China announced Monday that it will raise tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, beginning on June 1. The goods targeted include a broad range of agricultural products. Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump raised duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.

At a White House event Monday evening, Trump gave an estimate of “three to four weeks” when a breakthrough in negotiations with China could be announced.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index inched up 2.83 points, or 0.1%, to 2,081.84

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index slumped 10.57 points, or 0.3%, to 3,223.71

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index let go of 39.04 points to 0.4%, to 10,519.25

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 lost 56.48 points, or 0.6% to 10,070.35

In Australia, the ASK 200 handed back 57.68 points, or 0.9%, to 6,239.91