Asian shares mostly higher, shrugging off Wall Street losses
Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Friday after U.S. stocks slid amid mounting trade tensions. U.S. benchmarks fell after the Trump administration said it is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Europe, Canada and Mexico.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 0.4 percent to 22,283.54 and the Kospi in South Korea jumped 0.8 percent to 2,441.33. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index edged 0.1 percent higher to 30,491.64. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.2 percent to 3,088.38 and the S&P ASX 200 slipped 0.3 percent to 5,994.40. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.
TRADE MOVES: Canada and Mexico responded to the Trump administration’s moves with tariffs of their own, and the European Union is expected to follow suit. The parties will likely keep negotiating, and contentious talks between the U.S. and China are due to resume during the weekend. And while experts say a trade war remains a remote possibility, all of those disputes have been weighing on the market for months, and the uncertainty that is creating has real effects.
THE QUOTE: “You can do great harm to an economy just by leaving people up in the air about what the final deal is going to be,” said David Kelly, chief global strategist of JPMorgan Funds. He said the uncertainty is undoing some of the effects of the recent corporate tax cut.
WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index lost 0.7 percent to 2,705.27. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1 percent to 24,415.84 and the Nasdaq composite dipped 0.3 percent to 7,442.12 as technology companies like Alphabet and Facebook bucked the market’s decline. The Russell 2000 index, which is made up of smaller companies that tend to do more business in the U.S., slipped 0.9 percent to 1,633.61. It closed at a record high Wednesday.
GM-SOFTBANK: GM said SoftBank is taking a 20 percent stake in the GM Cruise automated division. General Motors stock jumped 12.9 percent to $42.70. That was its biggest gain since GM went public again in 2010 after emerging from bankruptcy. In Tokyo, Softbank’s shares edged 0.1 percent higher.
ENERGY: U.S. crude oil shed 13 cents to $66.97 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 1.7 percent to $67.04 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 2 cents to $77.57 per barrel. It added 0.1 percent to $77.59 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.03 yen from 108.83 yen. The euro was flat at $1.1694.