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Asian Markets Fall; BOK Rate Cut, Australian Job Data in Focus

Investing.com - Asian markets fell in morning trade on Thursday. An interest rate cut by the Bank of Korea (BOK) and a worse-than-expected Australian jobs data were in focus.

Chinese stocks extended losses on continued momentum after U.S. President Donald Trump said it is still a long way to go before Washington and Beijing could make a trade deal, while threatening to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods. The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were down 0.6% and 0.9% respectively by 10:36 PM ET (02:36 GMT).

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.4%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slumped 1.6% after data showed the country’s exports fell 6.7% in June from a year earlier, which was more than the expected 5.6% year-on-year decline.

South Korea’s KOSPI dropped 0.3%. The Bank of Korea unexpectedly announced a base rate cut of 25 basis points to 1.5%. Tensions between Japan and South Korea intensified this month after the former curbed exports of some materials used to make high-tech equipment.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 slipped 0.2%. Property firm Lend Lease Group (ASX:LLC) made headlines after the company won a contract with Alphabet’s Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to develop a $15 billion worth of residential and retail space in Silicon Walley.

Jobs data released on Thursday showed Australia’s unemployment rate remained at 5.2% in June, but the number of jobs created were only at 500, far off the expected 10,000.

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