Asian Shares Slide On Growth Woes, US-China Tensions

Asian stocks fell on Tuesday as worrying manufacturing data from across the globe raised concerns over a potential recession.

Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese stocks led losses ahead of a possible trip by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei as part of her Asian tour.

China repeatedly warned against Pelosi going to Taiwan, which it claims as its own. The United States said on Monday that it would not be intimidated by Chinese “sabre rattling” over the visit.

Chinese shares tumbled as tensions escalated over Pelosi’s Taiwan visit. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index fell 2.26 percent to 3,186.27 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index tumbled 2.36 percent to 19,689.21, dragged down by real estate and technology stocks. The Taiwan Weighted benchmark index dropped 1.56 percent to 14,747.23.

Japanese shares ended sharply lower as a firmer yen against the dollar weighed on exporters. The Nikkei average lost 1.42 percent to close at 27,594.73, while the broader Topix index ended 1.77 percent lower at 1,925.49.

Toyota Motor shed 2.6 percent, Panasonic declined 1.6 percent and Canon gave up 1.2 percent as the yen hit its highest level in two months against the dollar. Tokyo Electron, Fanuc and Daikin Industries fell 2-3 percent.

JSR plummeted 18.6 percent after the chemical firm posted a 30 percent drop in first-quarter net profit and cut its annual profit forecast. Sensor and magnet maker TDK jumped 13.5 percent on solid Q1 results.

Seoul stocks snapped a six-day winning streak as recession worries mounted. The Kospi average fell 0.52 percent to 2,439.62.

Data showed earlier in the day that South Korea’s consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in almost 24 years in July mainly due to high energy and food prices.

Australian markets ended little changed as the Reserve Bank raised the cash rate for the fourth time in as many months to curb inflation. Financials and technology stocks topped the gainers list while energy stocks tracked oil prices lower.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark NZX-50 index finished marginally higher at 11,532.46.

Infant formula maker A2 Milk surged 8.6 percent after reports that the company is about to get approval to sell its products in the United States. However, the company dismissed the report.

Overnight, U.S. stocks snapped a three-day winning streak as weak economic data from the U.S., Europe and China overshadowed earnings optimism and bets over a more moderate pace of rate increases at the upcoming policy meetings.

The Dow slipped 0.1 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched down 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 eased 0.3 percent.

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