TOKYO, Aug 16 2018 : Asian shares hit fresh one-year lows in early trading today, while oil and precious metal prices also tumbled as Turkey’s currency crisis and fears of an economic slowdown in China fanned worries about global growth.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.0 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 and the Australian benchmark dropped 1.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
Wall Street’s major indexes closed lower yesterday, with the S&P 500 .SPX down 0.8 percent, its biggest percentage drop since late June, amid disappointing earnings and escalating global trade worries.
“Negative news come from Turkey and China every day is upsetting global markets,” said Norihiro Fujito, senior market strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
“Also, Tencent’s earnings shock hurt tech stocks, sending the tech-heavy Nasdaq lower. It reminded investors that the U.S.-China trade spat is starting to harm the health of even the tech firms, which had been a major driver of the U.S. share rally.”
U.S. crude oil fell to two-month lows, falling 0.6 percent in early Asian trade to as low as $64.42 per barrel, after yesterday’s 3.2 percent fall.
Brent slipped 0.25 percent to $70.58, after a fall of 2.4 percent yesterday.
Spot gold dropped 1.0 percent to $1,162.31 an ounce in early Asian trade today, hitting its lowest levels since January last year.
Copper lost 4.0 percent to $5,801.00 a tonne and zinc fell 6.3 percent, touching its lowest level since October 2016 yesterday.
The escalation in global trade tensions continued to weigh on sentiment with Beijing lodging a complaint to the World Trade Organization to determine the legality of U.S. tariff and subsidy policies.
Turkey also raised tariffs on some U.S. products in response to Washington’s levies, Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.
The United States yesterday ruled out removing steel tariffs that have contributed to a currency crisis in Turkey even if Ankara frees a U.S. pastor, as Qatar pledged $15 billion in investment to Turkey, supporting a rise in the Turkish lira.
The euro and yuan gained 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. – Reuters