SYDNEY, Australia Stock indices in Japan fell on Tuesday, dragging the Asian region down with them. Japan is caught in the middle of a conflict over trade between its ally the United States, and its biggest trading partner China. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spent considerable time on Sunday at the APEC summit in Papua New Guinea trying to bridge the two economic superpowers, but without success.
Focus will now move to the G-20 in Argentina towards the end of this month, when the leaders of China, Japan and the United States will again try to fill some gaps on trade. U.S. President Donald Trump last Friday indicated an agreement between the U.S. and China was possible, although at APEC, Mike Pence, Trumps deputy was continuing to play playing hardball.
Trump is also pressuring Japan on a bilateral goods and service trade deal, whereas Abe only wants to concentrate on goods, which Trump had originally agreed to.
Another major negative for Japanese markets on Tuesday was the arrest and charging of Carlos Ghosn, the Chairman of the alliance between Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.,
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office questioned Ghosn earlier on Tuesday before arresting him, along with Nissan Director Greg Kelly. The pair are accused of under-reporting 5 billion ($44.4 million) over the five years from 2011 to 2015, and other wrongdoings, including using company assets for private use, sources said.
At the close of trading Monday the Nikkei 225 had lost 238.04 points or 1.09% at 21,583.12.
The Australian All Ordinaries fell 27.20 points or 0.47% to 5,759.20.
In Shanghai, at the close, the Shanghai Composite was off 57.65points or 2.13% at 2,645.85.
In late afternoon trading in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng had shed 514.59 points or 1.95% to 25,857.41.
On foreign exchange markets the Japanese yen was stronger, finishing the session in Tokyo around 112.51.
The Australian dollar finally had a correction, following g a week of strong gains. It retreated the most on Tuesday, ending the day in Sydney around 0.7283.
The euro remained in demand, trading solidly up to the close, at around 1.2855.
The British pound was a tad weaker at 1.2855, while the Swiss franc strengthened to 0.9925.
The Canadian dollar was little changed at 1.3165, while the New Zealand dollar firmed to 0.6855.
Overnight U.S. stocks had a wild ride, falling sharply, recouping some lost ground, and then plummeting back down again.
At the close of trading Monday, the Dow Jones industrials were down 395.78 points or 1.56% at 25,017.44.
The Standard and Poors 500 fell 45.54 points or 1.66% to 2,690.73.
The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite was down 219.40 points or 3.03% at 7,028.48.