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Asia Falls on Trump Comments

Dec 03, 2019 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) --

Stocks in Asia mostly fell on Tuesday following negative trade developments overnight as U.S. President Donald Trump said that he will reinstate tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dwindled 149.69 points, or 0.6%, to 23,379.81

The Japanese yen, often seen as a safe-haven currency in times of market uncertainty, traded at 109.13 per U.S. Dollar after strengthening sharply from levels above 109.5 yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index sank 53.42 points, or 0.2%, to 26,391.30, with shares of retailers such as Sa Sa and L'Occitane falling.

Data on Monday showed total retail sales volume for October in the Hong Kong dropped 26.2% year-on-year - its worst decline on record. The embattled city has been rocked by months of anti-government protests.

South Korea dropped as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix dropped 2.2%.

The Reserve Bank of Australia said Tuesday it was keeping its main cash rate at a record low of 0.75%, a move that was in line with expectations from most analysts. The Australian central bank has slashed rates three times since June this year.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6844 following the RBA's announcement on its interest rate decision, after seeing a low of $0.6812 earlier.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 15.03 points, or 0.4%, to 3,851.09

New trade tensions arose as U.S. President Donald Trump said he will restore tariffs on Brazil and Argentina metal imports.

Uncertainty also remained on the U.S.-China trade front. Trump said Monday China still wants to make a deal on trade, "but we'll see what happens."

His comments came following a heating up of tensions between the two economic powerhouses last week after Trump signed two pieces of legislation supporting protesters in Hong Kong, with a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry saying Friday that Beijing will take "strong counter-measures" against Washington.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex picked up 28.75 points, or 0.3%, to 11,531.58

In Korea, the Kospi dipped 7.85 points, or 0.4%, to 2,084.07

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index decreased 14.89 points, or 0.5%, to 3,173.08

In New Zealand, the NZX handed back 73.71 points, or 0.7%, to 11,228.27

In Australia, the ASX 200 dropped 149.97 points, or 2.2%, to 6,712.29

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