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Asian shares down as Korean peninsula tensions ratchet up

Stock MarketsApr 12, 2017 12:46AM ET
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Asian shares weaker

Investing.com - Asian shares fell on Wednesday led by Tokyo as tensions on the Korean peninsula went a notch higher.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.25%, trading at its lowest since December last year.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet that "North Korea is looking for trouble," adding that the U.S. would solve the problem with or without the help of China. For its part, Chinese President Xi Jinping was quoted by state media as saying that in a telephone call with Trump he stressed situation on the Korean Peninsula should be solved peacefully.

In Japan, core machinery orders jumped 5.6% year-on-year in February, beating a 2.5% gain seen, though the month-on-month figure rose 1.5%, missing the 3.7% gain expected. At the same time, PPI (producer prices) in Japan rose 1.4% year-on-year in March, a tad faster than the 1.3% rise seen.

The Shanghai Composite eased 0.32%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index also dipped 0.30%. China reported CPI for March fell 0.3% as expected month-on-month and a rose 0.9% year-on-year, a tick less than seen. PPI in China irose 7.6% as expected.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.06% while South Korea's Kospi dipped slightly. Shares in Australia's Telstra fell more than 7% on Wednesday after TPG Telecom secured licenses in the government's latest auction of mobile spectrum and the company unveiled plans to build its own mobile network.

Overnight, U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday, after investors ditched risk assets amid rising geopolitical tensions while a rise in oil prices capped losses.

Trump tweeted on Tuesday, "North Korea is looking for trouble" and signalled that the U.S. is prepared to solve the problem on its own, should China decline to offer assistance.

Meanwhile, U.S.-Russia relations were subject to further strain, after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered a message to Moscow on Tuesday denouncing Russian support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad. U.S. equities attempted to mount a late recovery during the session, led by energy stocks, after oil prices rallied, buoyed by reports that Saudi Arabia told OPEC officials, it favored a six-month extension to the current deal to cut global supply.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 20,651, down 0.03%. The S&P 500 lost 0.14% and the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.24% lower at 5866.77.

Asian shares down as Korean peninsula tensions ratchet up

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