By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets were a mixed bag Monday as the latest round of tariff hikes in the U.S.-China trade war took effect.
U.S. tariffs on $112 billion of Chinese goods were raised from 10% to 15% effective Sunday, and China responded by raising tariffs on some U.S. goods. Additional tit-for-tat tariff hikes are scheduled to take effect Oct. 1 and Dec. 15. Many U.S. companies have warned that they will need to pass on the costs of the tariffs to consumers.
President Donald Trump told reporters Sunday that “We can’t allow China to rip us off anymore as a country,” but said trade negotiations with China were still set to resume this month.
Earlier this weekend, the official gauge of China’s factory activity showed sluggish output for a fourth straight month. The manufacturing purchasing managers index edged down to 49.5 in August from 49.7 in July, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, lower than economists’ median forecast of 49.6, the Wall Street Journal reported. Readings below 50 indicate a contraction in factory activity.
Japan’s Nikkei (NIKKEI:JP:NIK) slipped 0.2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HONG:HK:HSI) retreated 0.4%, as continued pro-democracy protests disrupted airport traffic. The Shanghai Composite (SHG:CN:SHCOMP) rose 0.7% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite (SHENHZEN:CN:399106) jumped 1%. South Korea’s Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721) advanced 0.1%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan (TAIWAN:TW:Y9999) , Singapore (SES:SG:STI) and Indonesia (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX) pulled back. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO) was down 0.1%.
Among individual stocks, e-commerce company Rakuten (TKS:JP:4755) rose in Tokyo trading, while Mazda Motor (TKS:JP:7261) and SoftBank (TKS:JP:9984) fell. In Hong Kong, Tencent (HKG:HK:700) gained while Sino Land (HKG:HK:83) and Sands China (HKG:HK:1928) slid. Rio Tinto (ASX:AU:RIO) gained in Australia while Woodside Petroleum (ASX:AU:WPL) and Oil Search (ASX:AU:OSH) fell.
U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday.