By Associated Press and MarketWatch
Asian shares finished mixed Thursday, but losing indexes pared losses as investors weighed up the latest bout of selling on Wall Street and worries about a trade war.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.18% closed down nearly 0.3%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.63% fell 0.7% while South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.05% rose nearly 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.74% finished 0.4% lower, while the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.22% lost 0.3%. Stocks rose in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.02% , but fell in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.18% .
Among individual stocks, SoftBank Group /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +0.10% and Fast Retailing /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 +2.40% fell in Tokyo trading, as did Nintendo . In Hong Kong, Sunny Optical /zigman2/quotes/206687505/delayed HK:2382 -0.78% and AAC /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +0.89% dropped, along with CSPC Pharmaceutical /zigman2/quotes/200847219/delayed HK:1093 -0.13% . Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +0.60% and LG Electronics /zigman2/quotes/209966407/delayed KR:066570 +1.37% advanced in South Korea. Mining giants BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -1.48% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -0.25% declined in Australia, as did Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT +1.25% .
The latest market slide comes as investors worry that the trade war between the U.S. and China will derail global economic and corporate profit growth as it drags on with no sign of a resolution.
“The cracks in global equity markets threatened to grow wider still as relentless haven-buying of sovereign bonds overnight pushed key yields even lower and sent recession fears through stocks,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.
“Asia is unlikely to feel much relief today either with both the Nikkei 225 and the ASX 200 down.”
On Wall Street, overnight, the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.48% fell 19.37 points, or 0.7%, to 2,783.02. The index had been down 1.3% earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.07% lost 221.36 points, or 0.9%, to 25,126.41. It had tumbled 409 points. The Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +1.29% slid 60.04 points, or 0.8%, to 7,547.31.
With two more trading days left in May, the S&P 500 is heading for a loss of 5.5%. That would be its first monthly loss since December. The market has been heading steadily lower this month as prospects for the economy have dimmed and as traders got more worried about the lingering trade feud between Washington and Beijing.
In early May the U.S. and China concluded their 11th round of trade talks with no agreement. The U.S. then more than doubled duties on $200 billion in Chinese imports, and China responded by raising its own tariffs.
Benchmark U.S. crude added 9 cents to $58.86 It fell 0.6% to settle at $58.81 a barrel Wednesday. Brent crude , the international standard, slipped 63 cents to $68.82 per barrel.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.1187% rose to 109.68 Japanese yen from 109.31 yen on Wednesday.