Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 1.6% to finish at 20,601.19, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched up nearly 0.1% to 6,396.90. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2% to 2,043.25. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.5% to 26,986.48, and the Shanghai Composite lost 0.1% to 2,901.64.
Major U.S. stock indexes capped a day of listless trading with modest gains Thursday, snapping the market’s two-day losing streak.
The S&P 500 index rose 5.84 points, or 0.2%, to 2,788.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 43.47 points, or 0.2%, to 25,169.88. The Nasdaq composite added 20.41 points, or 0.3%, to 7,567.72. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 4.42 points, or 0.3%, to 1,485.53.
Trump announced a new 5% tariff on all Mexican goods Thursday aimed at pressuring Mexico to halt the flow of migrants into the U.S. The tariff, to be effective June 10, would increase each month if Trump is not satisfied by Mexico’s efforts on border security.
“Early expectations for the temporary relief on Wall Street to spread to Asia markets into Friday had once again been derailed with more confrontation trade policies out of the U.S., one to throw markets into a risk-off mode again,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.
Japanese automakers, which could suffer from the latest tariffs as they have manufacturing plants in Mexico, declined. Toyota Motor Corp. dropped 2.9%, while Honda Motor Co. plunged 4.3%.
Trade concerns are likely to continue through late June, when U.S. and Chinese leaders will have an opportunity to meet at the G20 summit in Japan.
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 fell 58 cents to $56.01 a barrel. It skidded 3.8% to settle at $56.59 a barrel Thursday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, slipped 73 cents to $64.60 per barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 108.93 Japanese yen from 109.69 yen on Thursday. The euro inched down to $1.1132 from $1.1138.