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Oct 15, 2018

Asian Markets at Close Report I Wall Street, US-China trade war, currencies in focus I CNBC


Eustance Huang


Stocks in Asia slipped on Monday afternoon as investors remained cautious, following global losses in the previous week.
In the Greater China region, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell by around 1.32 percent as of 3:31 a.m. HK/SIN.
The Shanghai composite also slipped by 1.49 percent to close at around 2,568.10 — its lowest since November 2014 — while the Shenzhen composite declined by 1.178 percent to end the trading day at about 1,281.08.
The moves in China came as new reserve requirements for lenders went into effect, in a move by the People's Bank of China which is expected to inject 750 billion yuan (around $108.4 billion) into the banking system.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell by 1.87 percent to close at 22,271.30, while the Topix index slipped by 1.59 percent at 1,675.44, with most sectors ending the trading day lower.
Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi also saw losses of 0.77 percent to close at 2,145.12, with industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics slipping by 0.45 percent and chipmaker SK Hynix falling by 2.9 percent.
In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 fell around 1 percent to end the trading day Down Under at 5,837.1 with most sectors lower. The heavily weighted financial subindex fell 1.62 percent as major banking shares saw losses — Commonwealth Bank was down 2.09 percent, ANZ fell 1.85 percent, Westpac was lower by 1.59 percent and the National Australia Bank declined by 1.58 percent.

Softbank stock under pressure from Saudi ties

Oil prices increase amid missing Saudi journalist case

In oil markets, prices lost some earlier gains but remained higher during Asian trade on Monday afternoon. The global benchmark Brent crude futures contract advanced by 0.56 percent to $80.88 per barrel, while the U.S. crude futures contract rose 0.36 percent to $71.60 per barrel.
"The alleged murder of the Saudi journalist in their embassy in Turkey opens a new source of risk, as President Trump threatens "punishment". Any Saudi retaliation will presumably mainly come through reduced oil supply and higher prices. That won't help market sentiment," Robert Carnell, chief economist and head of research Asia-Pacific at ING, said in a morning note.
 
NIKKEI Nikkei 225 Index 22271.30 -423.36 -1.87%
HSI Hang Seng Index 25445.06 -356.43 -1.38%
ASX 200 S&P/ASX 200 5837.10 -58.60 -0.99%
SHANGHAI Shanghai 2568.09 -38.82 -1.49%
KOSPI KOSPI Index 2145.12 -16.73 -0.77%
CNBC 100 CNBC 100 ASIA IDX 7559.18 -101.04 -1.32%
In the previous week, stocks sold off globally as investors fretted over rising interest rates, valuations and worries about a possible economic slowdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 finished the week down by more than 4 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite posted a 3.7 percent weekly loss.

US-China trade war in focus

Currencies

Elsewhere, the U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, traded at 95.220 as of 3:41 p.m. HK/SIN, following a slide from highs above 96.0 last week.
The Japanese yen was at 111.73 against the dollar after strengthening from levels above 113.8 last week, while the Australian dollar traded at $0.7127 after seeing gains from around 0.705 in the previous week.
CNBC's Fred Imbert, Mike Calia and Evelyn Cheng, along with Reuters, contributed to this report.