Market turmoil spreads to Asia

Asian stock markets slumped Wednesday as jitters spread over Italy's escalating political crisis and renewed US-China...

Posted: May 30, 2018 12:51 PM
Updated: May 30, 2018 12:51 PM

Asian stock markets slumped Wednesday as jitters spread over Italy's escalating political crisis and renewed US-China trade tensions.

Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both fell around 1.5%, while the Shanghai Composite sank more than 2%.

Markets were calmer in morning trading in Europe, with most major indexes posting small gains or losses.

The declines across Asia came after a sell-off Tuesday in Europe and the United States, where the Dow closed down 1.6%.

Traders in Asia said investors were exiting riskier assets such as stocks after political turmoil in Italy sparked fears over the future of the euro and the White House revived plans to slap tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Italy is headed for new elections after populist politicians failed to form a government, and investors worry the result could throw the European Union into turmoil. They are demanding higher yields to hold Italian government debt.

"This potential crisis is monumental," Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at foreign exchange firm Oanda, said in a note to clients.

Related: Italy crisis rocks markets. Here's why investors are worried

He pointed out that Italy's economy is far bigger than that of Greece, the source of the last eurozone crisis.

Investors in Asia are also worried about President Donald Trump's hardening stance on trade with China. The administration announced Tuesday that it would proceed with its proposal to impose 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods from China and place new limits on Chinese investments in US high-tech industries.

The decision was a surprise, coming less than two weeks after China and the United States said they had agreed to put threats of new tariffs on hold.

China's Commerce Ministry said the Trump administration's latest announcement is "obviously in violation of the consensus" reached by the two countries in recent talks.

Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at broker IG Group, said the move may be interpreted as a negotiating tactic ahead of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' planned visit to China this weekend for more trade talks. But it's still adding to negative sentiment in Asian markets, she added.

The gloomy mood may not continue in US markets later Wednesday, though. Dow futures were indicating slight gains.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 416843

Reported Deaths: 32719
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22596423550
Suffolk433951997
Nassau433802194
Westchester360141446
Rockland13885674
Orange11096489
Erie8626669
Monroe4790277
Dutchess4543153
Onondaga3490200
Albany2531126
Oneida2090112
Ulster203191
Sullivan148348
Niagara144998
Putnam143363
Broome106464
Schenectady103737
Rensselaer74030
Saratoga73317
Columbia52337
Madison40117
Ontario35134
Warren30033
Orleans29554
Steuben29242
Greene28918
Fulton28524
Genesee2735
St. Lawrence2624
Washington25514
Oswego2483
Wayne2473
Herkimer2464
Chautauqua2349
Tompkins2300
Chenango2116
Tioga19025
Livingston1678
Chemung1633
Cattaraugus1626
Montgomery1604
Cayuga1482
Jefferson1340
Clinton1274
Otsego1145
Wyoming1135
Delaware1044
Cortland920
Seneca863
Allegany751
Schoharie680
Essex550
Yates557
Franklin500
Lewis350
Schuyler220
Hamilton70
Unassigned00
Utica
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 67°
Oneonta
Broken Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 64°
Herkimer
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 67°
Thendara
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 67°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Ask EPLC Sweepstakes
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left