By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets were mostly lower in early trading Monday, as global trade tensions showed no signs of easing.
On Sunday, the White House said President Donald Trump was “deadly serious” about imposing punitive tariffs against all imports from Mexico unless the stream of migrants crossing the border was significantly slowed. Meanwhile, China blamed the U.S. for the breakdown in trade talks, and said it won’t back down, although it left the door open for further negotiations with the U.S.
On Monday, the private Caixin gauge found China’s factory activity was flat in May, though still in expansion territory, contrary to previous data that indicated cooling manufacturing activity.
Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.9% /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -2.37% and the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.66% was flat. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.57% slipped 0.3% while South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -1.01% rose 1.3%. Benchmark indexes were down in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -1.27% and Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.77% , and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.84% fell 1.2%.
Among individual stocks, SoftBank Group /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 -4.75% fell in Tokyo trading after the Wall Street Journal reported money managers have been cool to its bid to start a new $100 mega fund. Nippon Steel /zigman2/quotes/209782682/delayed JP:5401 +0.88% and Toyota /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 -2.43% also dropped. In Hong Kong, China Mobile /zigman2/quotes/200868736/delayed HK:941 -0.63% gained while casino operator Sands China /zigman2/quotes/207609245/delayed HK:1928 -2.27% and property developer Country Garden /zigman2/quotes/201681083/delayed HK:2007 0.00% slipped. Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -0.88% and LG Electronics /zigman2/quotes/209966407/delayed KR:066570 -1.58% surged in South Korea. In Australia, BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP -1.29% , Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -1.86% and Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT -1.97% fell.