Asian Stock Markets Fall. And There's a Slew of Reasons Why

(Bloomberg) -- Most major stock markets across the region slipped Monday as a plethora of geopolitical reasons created a risk-off sentiment for investors.

Here’s a list of some of the factors that helped pushed stocks lower in Asia:

  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed concerns over the yuan’s weakness and his call for a currency clause that would prevent competitive devaluations to be included in any trade talks with Japan
  • Crude oil surged as Saudi Arabia threatened to retaliate against any punitive measures over the disappearance of journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi
  • China’s ambassador to the U.S. said Beijing has no choice but to respond to what he described as a trade war started by the U.S.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose another round of tariffs on China
  • Investors are assessing the tremors rippling through the world economy after the IMF annual meetings in Bali last week
  • Brexit talks were said to have broken up in stalemate on Sunday

What’s for sure is that volatility has come back with a vengeance. Monday’s 1.1 percent decline in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index takes its average daily fluctuation for October to 1 percent, the biggest since February 2016. The gauge has moved more than 0.5 percent on a single session nine times this month -- or 82 percent of the days -- the highest proportion since June 2012.

Asian Stock Markets Fall. And There's a Slew of Reasons Why

Markets in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and Australia fell by at least 1 percent, while those in South Korea and Singapore declined more than 0.5 percent. Nine out of 10 sub-gauges in the regional benchmark slid, with energy stocks rising as the price of oil climbed amid the U.S.-Saudi Arabia tensions. Thailand is closed for a holiday.

Summary

  • Japan’s Topix index down 1.6%; Nikkei 225 down 1.9%
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index down 1.4%; Hang Seng China Enterprises down 1.5%; Shanghai Composite down 1.5%
  • Taiwan’s Taiex index down 1.4%
  • South Korea’s Kospi index down 0.8%; Kospi 200 down 0.8%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 down 1%; New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 down 0.1%
  • India’s Sensex down 0.1%, Nifty 50 down 0.2%
  • Straits Times Index down 0.7%, Malaysia’s KLCI down 0.1%, Jakarta Composite Index down 0.4%, Philippine Stock Exchange PSEi Index down 1.1%, Vietnam’s VN-Index down 1.9%

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