ASIAN MARKETS ALERT
Asian markets drop sharply in wake of Trump’s tariff plan
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, -2.82% skidded 2.5% soon after the opening bell, hit by fresh overseas stock selling and the yen’s continued gains. The Nikkei had lost 3% in the past two days.
The dollar JPYUSD, +0.217902% was recently at ¥106.25, versus ¥106.80 at the end of Tokyo stock trading on Thursday.
The fresh U.S. stock weakness followed President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.
“Markets received a sharp reminder of the initial negative reaction to the election of Mr. Trump,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets. “The tariffs were announced without any policy framework. An explanation may come, but the initial market interpretation of the move is rank populism.”
Stock benchmarks in Australia XJO, -1.01% and New Zealand’s benchmark NZ50GR, -0.62% each shed 0.6% while South Korea’s Kospi SEU, -1.56% slid 1.2% as investors there returned from Thursday’s holiday.
Oil and gold prices rebounded as the dollar declined.
The global Brent oil benchmark was up 0.6% at $64.20 a barrel, which if maintained would reverse Thursday’s losses, when it dropped to the lowest in more than two weeks. U.S. gold futures were up 1% from their settlement. The metal fell 1% Thursday to its lowest finish since Dec. 28.