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Asian Markets Extend Losses After Wall Street Sell-off


Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Tuesday, extending losses from the previous session following the overnight sell-off on Wall Street amid worries about rising U.S.-China trade tensions. China has announced tariffs on about $60 billion worth of U.S. goods in retaliation for the U.S. decision to raise tariffs on about $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The U.S. Trade Representative's Office said it plans to hold a public hearing in June on the possibility of raising duties of up to 25 percent on a further $300 billion worth of imports from China. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month.

The Australian market is notably lower. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is losing 74.40 points or 1.18 percent to 6,223.20, after touching a low of 6,204.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 72.80 points or 1.14 percent to 6,308.50. Australian shares closed modestly lower on Monday.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac - are down in a range of 1.7 percent to 2.0 percent. Shares of National Australia Bank are trading ex-dividend.

Oil stocks are lower after crude oil prices declined overnight. Oil Search is losing almost 2 percent, while Woodside Petroleum and Santos are down more than 1 percent each.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is declining almost 2 percent and Rio Tinto is down more than 1 percent, while Fortescue Metals is adding 0.7 percent.

Bucking the trend, gold miners are advancing after gold prices rose to a one-month high overnight. Evolution Mining is gaining more than 8 percent and Newcrest Mining is advancing more than 2 percent.

Ruralco Holdings reported a nearly 4 percent decline in profit for the first half of the year on an increase in one-off costs, including costs related to the company's proposed acquisition by Canadian fertilizer maker Nutrien. The agribusiness company's shares are lower by almost 1 percent.

Kathmandu Holdings said it has appointed Chris Kinraid as its chief financial officer with immediate effect and splitting the previously combined roles of CFO and chief operating officer. However, the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer's shares are losing almost 2 percent.

On the economic front, Australia will see April results for the surveys of business confidence and conditions from NAB today.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S dollar on Tuesday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6950, down from $0.6975 on Monday.

The Japanese market is declining and the safe-haven yen strengthened as rising U.S.-China trade tensions weighed on investor sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 230.47 points or 1.09 percent to 20,960.81, after touching a low of 20,751.45 earlier. Japanese shares fell notably lower on Monday.

The major exporters are weak on a stronger safe-haven yen. Sony and Mitsubishi Electric are declining more than 2 percent each, while Canon is lower by more than 1 percent and Panasonic is losing almost 1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Advantest is rising more than 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is down 0.2 percent. In the auto space, Toyota is lower by 1 percent and Honda is losing more than 1 percent.

Among the major banks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by more than 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down almost 2 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex and Japan Petroleum are losing more than 1 percent each after crude oil prices declined overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Taiyo Yuden is gaining almost 5 percent, Toppan Printing is rising more than 4 percent and Hitachi Zosen is higher by almost 4 percent.

On the flip side, Isuzu Motors is losing more than 16 percent, Fukuoka Financial is lower by almost 12 percent and Citizen Watch is declining more than 11 percent.

On the economic front, the Ministry of Finance said that Japan posted a current account surplus of 2,847.9 billion yen in March, down 10.6 percent on year. That missed forecasts for a surplus of 3,007.2 billion yen, but was still up from 2,676.8 billion yen in February.

The trade balance showed a surplus of 700.1 billion yen, also missing expectations for 838.9 billion yen and up from 489.2 billion yen in the previous month.

The Bank of Japan said that overall bank lending in Japan was up 2.4 percent on year in April, coming in at 537.652 trillion yen. That was up from the downwardly revised 2.3 percent increase in March.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 109 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is losing more than 1 percent, while Singapore is lower by almost 1 percent. Indonesia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Taiwan are also lower, while Shanghai and South Korea are edging higher.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on Monday after China announced plans to raise tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, shrugging off a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump. The move by China comes in retaliation for Trump's recent decision to raise tariffs on about $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent.

The Dow plunged 617.38 points or 2.4 percent to 25,324.99, the Nasdaq plummeted 269.92 points or 3.4 percent to 7,647.02 and the S&P 500 dove 69.53 points or 2.4 percent to 2,811.87.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Monday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index tumbled by 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures pared early gains and settled notably lower on Monday as worries about global growth following an escalation in U.S.-China trade tensions raised concerns about energy demand. WTI crude for June delivery fell $0.62 or 1 percent to $61.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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