Shares were lower in Asia on Monday, extending the latest losses on Wall Street, as China reported a slowdown in exports.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index
lost 1.4% while the Shanghai Composite
fell 0.6%. The Kospi
in South Korea declined 0.7% and Australia’s S&P ASX 200
gave up 0.3%. Shares also fell in Taiwan
and Southeast Asia. Japan’s markets were closed for a holiday.
Among individual stocks, oil producer CNOOC
and tech giant Tencent
each fell in Hong Kong trading, chip maker SK Hynix
tumbled in South Korea and Taiwan Semiconductor
slipped in Taiwan.
China said Monday that its exports to the U.S. contracted in December although its overall trade surplus with the U.S. hit a record $323 billion in 2018. Exports to the U.S. rose 11.3% to $478.4 billion for the year despite punitive tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump in a fight over Chinese technology ambitions. The customs data showed imports of American goods rose just 0.7% over 2017, reflecting the impact of Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs and encouragement to importers to buy more from non-U.S. suppliers.
U.S. stock indexes finished a hair lower on Friday after the falling price of oil weighed on energy companies. The S&P 500
nevertheless closed out its third straight winning week following a brutal stretch in December, edging 0.1% lower to 2,596.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
dipped less than 0.1% to 23,995.95 and the Nasdaq composite
lost 0.2% to 6,971.48.
“Risk has continued to veer averse today as pre-earnings jitters amid a torrent of turbulent crosscurrents have investors adopting a more defensive approach even after the Fed indicated patience on further rate hikes,” Stephen Innes of Oanda said in a commentary. “The markets were heading into today China’s trade data, expecting leading indicators of regional trade will be weak, and export orders point at a continued weakening sentiment. Which indeed proved to be the case.”
Benchmark U.S. crude oil
gave up 50 cents to $51.09 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 1.9 percent to settle at $51.59 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude
, the international standard, lost 60 cents to $59.88. It sank 1.9 percent to $60.48 a barrel in London.
was trading at 108.13 yen, down from 108.48 yen on Friday.
Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch's free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.