Asian stocks moved mixed on Friday (31/5) as concerns continued after President Donald Trump announced additional tariffs on imports from Mexico. The Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent in early trade to 20,796.38.
While Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 fell 0.1 percent to 6,383.70. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.4 percent to 2,046.56. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was little changed but rose less than 0.1 percent to 27,115.53, and Shanghai Composite rose 0.3 percent to 2,914.46.
The major US stock indices capped flagging trading days with modest gains Thursday, stopping the market’s decline in two straight days.
The S & P 500 index rose 5.84 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,788.86. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 43.47 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,169.88. The Nasdaq composite rose 20.41 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,567.72. The small company Russell 2000 index fell 4.42 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,485.53.
Trump announced a new 5 percent rate for all Mexican goods, on Thursday, to stop the flow of migrants to the US. The rate, valid for June 10, will increase every month if Trump is not satisfied with Mexico’s efforts on border security.
“Early hopes for temporary assistance on Wall Street to spread to Asian markets until Friday have once again slipped with another confrontation trade policy from the US, which is to throw the market into risk-off mode again,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore reported on AP News.
Trading concerns are likely to continue until the end of June, when US and Chinese leaders will have the opportunity to meet at the G20 summit in Japan.
In early May, the US and China ended the 11th round of trade talks without agreement. The US at that time added more than double the duty on Chinese imports worth 200 billion dollars, and China responded by raising its own tariffs.