Asian shares retreat on German coalition impasse

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By 2017-11-21

Asian stocks fell broadly on Monday as US tax reform uncertainty and a political impasse in Germany dented investor risk appetite and helped spur demand for safe-haven assets. Chinese shares reversed early losses to end higher. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 9.49 points or 0.28 per cent to 3,392.40, with banks pacing the gainers after Beijing moved in to rein in risks from asset management products. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.2 per cent at 29,260 in late trade.

Japanese shares fell as the yen strengthened and data showed Japanese export growth weakened unexpectedly in October. The Nikkei average fell 135 points or 0.60 per cent to 22,261.76 while the broader Topix index closed 0.23 per cent lower at 1,759.65.
Financials and tech stocks led the declines, with Nomura Holdings, Tokyo Electron and Advantest Corp losing 1-3 per cent. Toshiba Corp plunged 5.8 per cent on equity dilution worries. Toyota Motor edged up 0.2 per cent and Suzuki Motor Corp advanced 0.7 per cent after they announced a tie-up to sell electric vehicles in India.

Australian shares fell slightly, dragged down by financials as uncertainty prevailed over the fate of US tax reform efforts and investors awaited the RBA's minutes from its November meeting.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index slid 11.60 points or 0.19 per cent to 5,945.70 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 10.30 points or 0.17 per cent at 6,028.
The big four banks fell between 0.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent while miners Fortescue Metals Group and South32 ended down 0.6 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.

Seoul shares reversed early gains to end lower on institutional selling. The benchmark Kospi dipped 6.32 points or 0.25 per cent to finish at 2,527.67. Tech stocks lost ground, with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix ending down over 1 per cent each.
New Zealand shares eked out modest gains despite weak cues from offshore markets. The benchmark S&P/NZX-50 index rose 27.82 points or 0.35 per cent to 8,089.80. Metro Performance Glass shares jumped 4.6 per cent after the company delivered half-year results, in line with guidance issued last month.

New Zealand's service sector activity continued to expand strongly in October despite the prevailing uncertainty surrounding the election, coalition negotiations and government formation over the period, survey figures from Business NZ showed today.
Singapore's Straits Times index was moving up 0.1 per cent. Singapore's domestic wholesale trade decreased at a faster rate in the three months ended September, figures from the Department of Statistics showed.

Indian and Malaysian shares were marginally lower, while Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was rising half a per cent.
US stocks fell slightly on Friday as lingering worries about tax reform offset upbeat housing data. The Dow dropped 0.4 per cent, the Nasdaq-Composite slid 0.2 per cent and the S&P 500 slipped 0.3 per cent.

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