Asia markets lower as US-China trade tensions rise again – CNBC

Asian markets were negative on Monday morning amid reports over the weekend that the U.S. could be imposing new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods as early as this week.

In South Korea, the Kospi saw losses of 0.47 percent in the early hours of trading action, with industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics sliding by 0.87 percent.

Down Under, the ASX 200 also fell by 0.29 percent in the morning, as the health care sector slid 1.09 percent after an announcement by skin and hair care product marketer BWX that it was going to stay independent. That followed the withdrawal of a proposal for acquisition from a consortium led by Bain Capital. Shares of BWX fell by 1.22 percent in the morning.

In U.S. market action last Friday, the S&P 500 saw a slight gain to close at 2,904.98, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 8.68 points at 26,154.67 and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.1 percent to 8,010.04.

The gains on Wall Street were largely kept in check following a report by Bloomberg that U.S. President Donald Trump still wanted to impose tariffs on $200 billion on Chinese goods despite attempts by Washington to reopen trade talks with Beijing.

On Sunday, a source told CNBC that that the new round of tariffs on Chinese goods was being readied ahead of the scheduled trade talks with Beijing, in line with an earlier report by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday that said the White House was set to impose the tariffs at 10 percent instead of the earlier number of 25 percent.

The Journal then followed up with another report on Sunday citing Chinese officials saying that Beijing could decline to participate in the proposed trade talks with the U.S. if Washington goes ahead with imposing the additional tariffs on Chinese imports.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 94.947 as of 8:17 a.m. HK/SIN, largely holding on to its gains from last Friday.

“(The U.S. dollar) will take guidance this week from any trade discussion and bond and equity market movements,” said Richard Grace, chief currency strategist and head of international economics at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The Japanese yen remained slightly stronger against the dollar at 111.99 while the Australian dollar weakened slightly to 0.7147, as of 8:19 a.m. HK/SIN.

“This week, AUD/USD will take some guidance from the minutes of the (Reserve Bank of Australia’s) September policy meeting on Tuesday. We don’t expect much of a currency market reaction,” said Grace.

Here is a look at the economic data ahead:

  • Indonesia — Trade data for August at 12:00 p.m. HK/SIN
  • Hong Kong — Port container throughput monthly estimates for August