Japan Market end lower as Sino-U.S. trade war intensifies

Japan share market closed lower for straight seventh session on Tuesday, 14 May 2019, as risk off selling continued due to escalating Sino-U.S. trade tensions after China announced tariff increases on $60 billion of U.S. goods on Monday in retaliation for Washington imposing higher tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China on Friday. Market losses were, however, capped after reports that President Donald Trump had voiced hope for progress in the countries' trade negotiations. Total 25 issues of 33 subsectors of the Tokyo Stock Exchange declined, with shares in Fishery, Agriculture & Forestry, Rubber Products, Transportation Equipment, Metal Products, Information & Communication, and Marine Transportation issues being notable losers whereas Oil & Coal Products, Mining, and Chemicals issues were notable gainers. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average was down 124.05 points, or 0.59%, at 21,067.23, after briefly dropping over 400 points to a three-and-a-half-month low in early trading, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was 6.16 points, or 0.40%, lower at 1,534.98. .

Selling has intensified for local shares on Tuesday with the escalation of US-China trade tensions. China announced Monday that it will raise tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, beginning on June 1. The goods targeted include a broad range of agricultural products. Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump raised duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%. .

Automakers, shippers and banking shares tumbled. Mazda Motor and Subaru Corp both slid 3.1%, Mitsui OSK Lines fell 1.6% while Mizuho Financial Group dropped 0.9%. .

Manufacturers with large exposure to China were volatile, with Komatsu flat at 2,374.5 yen after slumping 4% earlier, and Fanuc up 0.1% after dropping 2.9% in early trade. Yaskawa Electric rose 0.7% after sliding 4.5%. .

SoftBank Group fell 575 yen, or 5.4%, to 9,995 yen, following the disappointing debut on the New York Stock Exchange last week of Uber, of which SoftBank is the biggest shareholder. .

ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan Posts 2,847.9 Billion Yen Current Account Surplus In March-- Japan Current account surplus came in at 2,847.9 billion yen in March, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday - down 10.6% on year, up from 2,676.8 billion in February. The trade balance showed a surplus of 700.1 billion yen, up from 489.2 billion yen in the previous month. Exports fell 5.2% on year to 7.058 trillion yen, while imports added an annual 1.5% to 6.358 trillion yen. .

CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen was little changed against the dollar on Tuesday, as nervous investors seek safe-haven assets on heightened concerns about the outlook for the global economy. The dollar traded at 109.62 yen in Asian afternoon trade, up from 109.30 yen in New York on Monday. .

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