Asian markets fell in early trading Thursday, following losses on Wall Street triggered by fresh worries about an economic slowdown.
U.S. stocks are off to their worst start to a quarter since 2008, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.86% has lost more than 800 points in the past two days. Data showing slower job creation and weaker manufacturing output are indicating that the Trump administration’s trade war is taking a toll on the U.S. economy.
Global markets were further uneased after the U.S. announced late Wednesday that it planned to slap tariffs as high as 25% on $7.5 billion of European imports, after the WTO ruled the EU improperly favored Airbus over Boeing in a long-running trans-Atlantic dispute.
“The dreary economic data does perhaps suggest that traders could be better sellers in this risk-toxic environment,” Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note.
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -2.02% dropped 2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.60% slipped 0.6%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -2.05% fell 1.9% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 NZ50GR, -1.06% slid 1.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, -0.77% , Singapore STI, -0.83% , Malaysia FBMKLCI, -0.46% and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.19% all declined. Markets in mainland China and South Korea were closed for holidays.
Among individual stocks, SoftBank 9984, -2.31% , Fast Retailing 9983, -2.82% , Toyota 7203, -2.57% and Honda 7267, -2.45% all sank in Tokyo trading. Casino operator Galaxy Entertainment 27, +2.16% rose in Hog Kong, while Wharf Real Estate 1997, -1.83% and CNOOC 883, -1.69% declined. In Australia, Beach Energy BPT, -1.63% , BHP BHP, -2.87% and Westpac Banking WBC, -2.29% all fell.