CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stock markets are mostly lower on Monday amid worries about the tit-for-tat trade war between the world's two largest economies and its impact on global economic growth.
A new round of tariffs by the U.S. and China took effect over the weekend. U.S. tariffs on about $112 billion worth of Chinese imports went into effect on Sunday, while China started to impose retaliatory tariffs on some of the $75 billion worth of U.S. goods it has targeted.
The Australian market is declining following the mixed cues from Wall Street Friday and on worries about the U.S.-China trade war.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is lower by 15.80 points or 0.24 percent to 6,588.40, after touching a low of 6,584.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 11.70 points or 0.17 percent to 6,686.50. Australian stocks closed sharply higher on Friday.
In the oil sector, Santos is losing almost 2 percent, Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum are declining more than 1 percent each after crude oil prices fell on Friday.
The big four banks are mixed. ANZ Banking is down 0.1 percent and National Australia Bank is declining 0.2 percent, while Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are up 0.1 percent each.
Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is rising almost 1 percent, BHP Billiton is adding 0.3 percent and Fortescue Metals is up 0.2 percent.
Gold miners are also higher even as gold prices declined for the third straight day on Friday. Newcrest Mining is adding 0.6 percent and Evolution Mining is advancing almost 1 percent.
Telstra lowered its fiscal 2020 income outlook after the government owned NBN Co. projected fewer than expected connections over the next year. The telecom giant's shares are lower by almost 1 percent.
Incitec Pivot slashed its full-year 2019 outlook and said it was exploring a potential sale, de-merger or further investment in its Asia-Pacific fertilizers segment. The agricultural chemical supplier's shares are losing 11 percent.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local currency was quoted at $0.6731, compared to $0.6713 on Friday.
The Japanese market is modestly lower, while the safe-haven yen strengthened following the mixed cues from Wall Street Friday and on worries about the U.S.-China trade war.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 67.25 points or 0.32 percent to 20,637.12, after touching a low of 20,614.29 earlier. Japanese shares rose on Friday.
The major exporters are mostly lower on a stronger yen. Mitsubishi Electric is declining 0.7 percent, Canon is lower by 0.4 percent and Panasonic is down 0.3 percent, while Sony is adding 0.1 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is rising 0.7 percent and Tokyo Electron is higher by more than 1 percent. In the auto sector, Honda Motor is adding 0.1 percent and Toyota Motor is edging up less than 0.1 percent.
Market heavyweight SoftBank is losing more than 1 percent and Fast Retailing is down 0.2 percent.
Among oil stocks, Japan Petroleum is losing almost 2 percent and Inpex is lower by more than 1 percent after crude oil prices fell on Friday.
Among the major gainers, Tokyo Dome, Pacific Metals, Rakuten and Olympus Corp. are all rising more than 3 percent each.
On the flip side, Dena Co. is losing more than 7 percent, while Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Eisai Co. and Showa Denko are all lower by more than 2 percent each.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 106 yen-range on Monday.
Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong are also lower, while Shanghai, New Zealand and Taiwan are higher.
On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Friday in choppy trading as traders expressed some uncertainty about whether the U.S. and China will resume trade talks next month and finally reach an elusive trade deal. A mixed batch of U.S. economic data also contributed to the lackluster performance on the day, as some traders looked to get a head start on the holiday weekend.
The Dow edged up 41.03 points or 0.2 percent to 26,403.28, the best closing level for the blue chip index in nearly a month. The S&P 500 also crept up 1.88 points or 0.1 percent to 2,926.46, while the Nasdaq dipped 10.51 points or 0.1 percent to 7,962.88.
The major European markets pulled back off their best levels but remained mostly positive on Friday. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.9 percent, the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent.
Crude oil prices declined sharply on Friday, with traders choosing to take some profits after prices shot up by nearly 6 percent over the previous three sessions. WTI crude for October ended down $1.61 or about 2.8 percent at $55.10 a barrel.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX