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Asia stocks fall after US-China trade tensions escalated

Asia stocks fall after US-China trade tensions escalated

Most Asian stocks declined on Monday in morning session amid escalating trade tensions between the US and China after both countries announced tariffs last week.

The Trump administration last week said it will impose a 25% tariff on a list of 818 items of Chinese goods worth around $34 billion beginning 6 July.

In response, China said a 25% tariff will be implemented on US goods, including soybeans and electric vehicles, worth $34 billion starting 6 July.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.85%, with all sectors trading lower. Shipping companies declined the most, with the Topix sea transport subindex sliding 3.46%.

Steelmakers declined 2.18% and oil stocks tumbled 3.32% amid an extended drop in oil prices.

In South Korea too markets recorded similar losses, with the benchmark Kospi down 0.8%. Automakers traded higher, with Hyundai Motor up 0.75%, although large cap tech shares fell. Heavyweight Samsung Electronics slid 2.1%.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 was trading flat as declines in the materials subindex weighed on the broader market. Mining majors Rio Tinto and BHP fell more than 2%, while banking names gained slightly.

Elsewhere, Singapore's Straits Times Index lost 1.19% and Malaysian shares dropped around 1%. MSCI's index of shares in Asia Pacific outside of Japan eased 0.46% during Asia morning trade.

Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia were closed on Monday for holidays.

In commodity news, oil prices extended losses after slumping in the last session ahead of OPEC's meeting in Vienna later this week.


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