Investing.com – Asian stocks slid in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Australia and hit a 14-month low on Wednesday afternoon, as the market sentiment is dampened by escalating U.S.-China trade disputes.
The Shanghai Composite extended loss from the morning, down by 0.33% at 1:23AM ET (05: 23 GMT), while the SZSE Composite fell 0.49%. The Hang Seng Index slipped by 0.51%, going deeper into a bear market.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 0.44% and South Korea’s KOSPI also declined 0.3%, while down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.12%.
China is seeking the World Trade Organization’s permission to sanction against $7 billion worth of U.S. products due to the latter’s non-compliance of a dispute ruling that indicated the illegality of its dumping duties.
This came after Trump’s threat last Friday to slap 25% tariffs on a further $267 billion of Chinese products, which would mean all Chinese goods might be subject to levies. The White House stated on Tuesday that the U.S. is taking a tough stance with China.
The U.S.-China Business Council, which represents about 200 American companies that do business in China, said on Tuesday that China is putting off accepting license applications from American companies in financial services and other industries, until Washington comes to a settlement.
Beijing is likely to target operations of U.S. companies as it soon runs of American imports for retaliative penalties, given that Washington is considering imposing more tariffs on Chinese goods.
“China’s ability to respond is limited in tariffs, the government is using what they call ‘qualitative measures’. You can’t put a number on that, but it’s not an idle threat. They could really make it hard for U.S. companies to operate in China,” said ING Bank Head of Research and Chief Economist Robert Carnell.
China will release August industrial production and retail sales data on Friday while Australia is due to release employment data on Thursday.