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Asian Stocks Mixed on Tariff Plan Yen Holds Gains

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Asian stocks were mixed on the final trading day of the month as President Donald Trump’s plans to impose new tariffs on China and renewed turmoil in emerging markets weighed on investor sentiment. Treasuries, the dollar and the yen held on to gains.

Stocks were little changed in Tokyo and Shanghai, rose in Seoul and slipped in Sydney. Hong Kong shares underperformed, led by declines in Tencent Holdings Ltd. Earlier, the S&P 500 fell as Trump was said to be moving ahead with a new trade plan as soon as next week. Emerging-market equities and currencies remained under pressure with the Indian rupee falling to a record and the Indonesian rupiah trading at its lowest since 1998 amid ongoing turmoil in Argentina and Turkey.

Caution is creeping into markets as global stocks round out a month that’s seen a strong rally from mid-August. While the Federal Reserve remains on its tightening path and Chinese authorities have moved to loosen policy and stem declines in its currency, the threat of global growth being hit from a souring of U.S.-China relations remains front and center.

On trade, the U.S. president wants to move ahead with a plan to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports as soon as a public-comment period concludes next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

Elsewhere, crude steadied above $70 a barrel after breaking through for the first time in a month as shrinking stockpile levels in the U.S. pointed to supply constraints. Australian bonds rose.

Main moves in markets:

Stocks

• The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3 percent as of 1:06 p.m. Tokyo time.

• Topix index rose less than 0.05 percent.

• Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index decreased 0.9 percent.

• Kospi index rose 0.3 percent.

• Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent.

• Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose less than 0.05 percent.

Currencies

• The Japanese yen fell less than 0.05 percent to 110.99 per dollar.

• The offshore yuan gained 0.3 percent to 6.8453 per dollar.

• The euro fell 0.1 percent to $1.1664.

• The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1 percent to 1,179.30.

Bonds

• The yield on 10-year Treasuries was unchanged at 2.86 percent.

• Australia’s 10-year yield decreased five basis points to 2.523 percent.

• Japan’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to 0.10 percent.

Commodities

• West Texas Intermediate crude rose less than 0.05 percent to $70.28 a barrel.

• Gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,203.59 an ounce.

• LME copper fell 0.4 percent to $6,040 per metric ton.

Source: Bloomberg