Asian shares poised to slip after escalation in US-China trade tensions

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Asian markets looked set to slip on Monday after tariffs announced by the U.S. on Chinese goods last week were met with swift retaliation from Beijing.

Futures tipped a lower open for Japan, with Nikkei futures traded in Chicago last lower by 0.18 percent compared to the index’s Friday close. Australian SPI futures, meanwhile, were flat at the end of the previous trading session.

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

Trade is likely to be top of mind for investors after the Trump administration said it will impose a 25 percent tariff on a list of 818 items of Chinese goods worth around $34 billion beginning July 6. Measures affecting an additional 284 products worth $16 billion will be subject to review before taking effect.

In response, China said a 25 percent tariff will be implemented on U.S. goods, including soybeans and electric vehicles, worth $34 billion starting July 6. Another list of U.S. imports worth $16 billion will be subject to review before being applied.

Despite the latest dust-up on the trade front, U.S. stocks finished the last session well off the day’s lows. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.34 percent, or 84.83 points, to close at 25,090.48, after losing as much as 280.93 points earlier.

Other U.S. stock indexes also recorded slight declines: The S&P 500 edged lower by 0.1 percent to 2,779.66 and the Nasdaq composite eased 0.19 percent to end at 7,746.34.

On the energy front, oil prices slumped in the last session ahead of OPEC’s meeting in Vienna later this week. The declines also came amid the trade jitters, as energy products had been included in the list of additional U.S. goods that China could target at a later date.

Brent crude futures lost $2.50, or 3.29 percent, to settle at $73.44 per barrel and U.S. crude futures declined $1.83 to settle at $64.64.

In foreign exchange, the dollar index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies, last stood at 94.876. Against the yen, the dollar traded at 110.61 at 6:58 a.m. HK/SIN.

Here’s the economic calendar for Monday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 7:50 a.m.: Japan trade data
  • 8:30 a.m.: Singapore non-oil domestic exports

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