Asian stocks fell broadly on Tuesday, although Chinese stocks rose notably after reports that China and the United States have resumed high levels talks to reduce tensions ahead of Trump-Xi meeting later this month.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.93 percent to 2,654.88 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.62 percent to 25,792.87.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang today said the country needs reforms and adjustments in policies to lift growth. “Despite the downward pressure, we will not resort to massive stimulus,” Li said
Japanese shares tumbled, dragged down by technology stocks after one of Apple’s suppliers, Lumentum, slashed its fiscal outlook for the current quarter.
The Nikkei average ended the session down 2.06 percent at 21,810.52 after hitting as low as 21,484.65 – its weakest since Oct.30 – earlier in the session. The broader Topix index closed 2 percent lower at 1,638.45.
Advantest lost 3.2 percent, Screen Holdings shed 5.6 percent, TDK Corp retreated 6.3 percent and Japan Display plunged 9.5 percent. Exporters Canon, Panasonic, Honda Motor, Toyota and Sony fell 1-3 percent.
Toshiba Corp jumped 4.1 percent after announcing that it would continue its share buyback program until next November. SoftBank advanced 1.9 percent on fund raising reports.
Australian stocks fell sharply, with selling seen across the board. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index tumbled 1.80 percent to finish at 5,834.20 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 1.74 percent at 5,922.60.
Lender Westpac lost 5.4 percent on going ex-dividend while the other three big banks fell between 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent. Insurer Suncorp Group dropped 2 percent after it postponed the targeted close of the A$725 million sale of its Australian life insurance business to Japan’s Dai-ichi Life.
Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto declined 1.7 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively after an overnight drop in base metals and iron ore prices. In the healthcare sector, CSL, Resmed and Cochlear gave up 3-4 percent.
Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Origin Energy and Oil Search fell 2-3 percent after crude oil prices fell for the eleventh straight session overnight, giving up earlier gains after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted against production cuts.
Fertilizer maker Incitec Pivot plummeted 5.2 percent after its full-year profit fell almost 35 percent due to large first-half impairment against its explosives services business. Agribusiness Ruralco Holdings soared 7.2 percent on reporting a 12 percent increase in full-year profit.
Seoul markets fell modestly as foreign investors offloaded large-cap shares. The benchmark Kospi dropped 9.21 points or 0.44 percent to close at 2,071.23. Tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics fell 1.6 percent to snap a four-day winning streak while LG Electronics shed 1.4 percent and SK Hynix declined 3.5 percent.
New Zealand shares joined a global selloff, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ending down 95.33 points or 1.06 percent at 8,861.52. Ryman Healthcare slumped 4.4 percent and A2 Milk lost 2.3 percent.
U.S. stocks fell for a third day on Monday as Apple suppliers cut their forecasts and Goldman Sachs shares hit a two-year low on concerns over a scandal surrounding the plundering of a Malaysian government investment fund.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 2.3 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged 2.8 percent and the S&P 500 plummeted 2 percent.