Asian stocks mostly fall on Wall Street slide trade fears

TOKYO — Asian shares were mostly lower Thursday after another round of selling on Wall Street amid investor worries about a trade war.Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped 0.4% to 20,913.68. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.8% to 6,385.60. South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.5% to 2,032.49. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.5% at 27,092.83, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.9% to 2,889.36.The latest market slide comes as investors worry that the trade war between the U.S. and China will derail global economic and corporate profit growth as it drags on with no sign of a resolution.“The cracks in global equity markets threatened to grow wider still as relentless haven-buying of sovereign bonds overnight pushed key yields even lower and sent recession fears through stocks,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.“Asia is unlikely to feel much relief today either with both the Nikkei 225 and the ASX 200 down.”On Wall Street, overnight, the S&P 500 index fell 19.37 points, or 0.7%, to 2,783.02. The index had been down 1.3% earlier. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 221.36 points, or 0.9%, to 25,126.41. It had tumbled 409 points. The Nasdaq composite slid 60.04 points, or 0.8%, to 7,547.31. The Russell 2000 index of small companies dropped 14.07 points, or 0.9%, to 1,489.95.With two more trading days left in May, the S&P 500 is heading for a loss of 5.5%. That would be its first monthly loss since December. The market has been heading steadily lower this month as prospects for the economy have dimmed and as traders got more worried about the lingering trade feud between Washington and Beijing.In early May the U.S. and China concluded their 11th round of trade talks with no agreement. The U.S. then more than doubled duties on $200 billion in Chinese imports, and China responded by raising its own tariffs.ENERGY:Benchmark U.S. crude added 44 cents to $59.25. It fell 0.6% to settle at $58.81 a barrel Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 32 cents to $68.19 per barrel.CURRENCIES:The dollar rose to 109.70 Japanese yen from 109.31 yen on Wednesday. The euro weakened to $1.1136 from $1.1154.Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press read more

Manmohan warned over Sri Lanka

“Whether he is going to side with Sri Lankan government, which they consider as their enemy country,” he asked. Maitreyan said the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has in the letters “conveyed outrage” over the “continuing human rights violation” of Tamilians in Sri Lanka.Quoting from the letter, Maitreyan said holding an important summit like CHOGM is equal to endorsing human rights violation by Sri Lanka against the Tamilians, he said, “any high-level participation from Indian side will not only embolden Sri Lanka but also incense public sentiments in Tamil Nadu. The two main political parties in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK and the DMK today joined hands in the Rajya Sabha to demand that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not attend the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka in November, the Press Trust of India reported.Raising the issue during Zero Hour, V Maitreyan (AIADMK) said his party chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha also wrote two letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard but no reply was given by the PMO. “I urge the Prime Minister not to attend at very least. India should stay away from CHOGM.”Associating with the issue, Kanimozhi (DMK) said her party has time and again insisted that the Prime Minister should not attend the meeting in Sri Lanka.She said DMK chief Karunanidhi has also asked leaders from other countries not to attend the summit or least change the venue of the CHOGM meet. Maintaining that any high level delegation from India attending the summit in Sri Lanka “which the AIADMK considers an enemy country”, will be “endorsing” the acts of human rights violation by that country, Maitreyan said people of Tamil Nadu are waiting with eagerness to see how the Prime Minister is going to respond. “At least India should not attend the meeting,” she said. Kanimozhi also raised the issue of Tamilian fishermen and human rights violation. read more