BANGKOK, Thailand – Asian shares declined Monday as investors watched for the recent developments in the US-China trade war story.
Last week had an optimistic end for traders, despite the latest confusion on the trade war saga. However, this week started with less than last week’s positive results, seemingly affected by the recent developments of phase one in US-China trade talks. The retreat, especially in Asian shares, was headed by Hong Kong with a 2.1% decline in the Hang Seng, leading to 27,062.49 points mid-morning. The decline was after a report of a protester wounded by a police officer. The subway lines were blocked during the Monday morning commute by demonstrators, including roads along the Chinese financial center.
After protests continued for more than five months in the city, uncertainties started to develop. The protests started with the misunderstandings about the extradition bill, which then spread out to include petitions for greater police accountability and democracy.
Included in the share price decline Monday are the 2.1% decrease to 2,928.04 in the Shanghai Composite index, 0.2% decline to 23,342.05 points in the Nikkei 225 index of Japan, and the 0.7% decline to 2,122.32 points in the Kospi index in South Korea.
Shares around Southeast Asia and Taiwan also fell down on the first day of the trading week. Only the S&P ASX/200 index of Australia comes out with an optimistic mid-day with its 0.5% gain, leading the index to 6,759.90 basis point.
The hopes for a better week for Washington and Beijing were shut down after a comment from the US President, Donald Trump, came out Friday, dismissing statements of Chinese officials stating that the US has agreed to the rollback tariffs on Chinese goods.
The President’s dismissal came out after a spokesman from the Chinese Commerce Ministry said that the US and China had agreed to cancel the tariff hikes by phase on Thursday.
However, Trump said that China wanted to have a rollback, but he hasn’t agreed to anything yet. His dismissal raised doubts over how the US-China trade talks are progressing, especially with the finalized Phase one of the trade talks was announced early in October.
According to Jeffrey Halley of Oanda in one of his commentaries about the issue, the main factor that can dictate the daily motions in the sentiments for this trading week would the trade talks between the US and China.
Despite last week’s positive ending amid the conflicting signals, especially with the trade talks, it seems that the effects of recent worries are starting to affect this trading week.