Asia Markets: Trade, oil-price worries blow Asian markets lower

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Asian stock markets dropped in early trading Friday, as trade and broader geopolitical concerns continue to weigh on over investor sentiment.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, -0.46%

  was off 0.5% and barely hanging on to a weekly gain. Tokyo Electron

8035, -3.34%

  was down 3.5% and Nintendo

7974, -1.82%

  was off more than 1%. Inpex

1605, -3.69%

  dropped 3.6% as Brent crude futures

LCOV8, +0.01%

fell to their lowest level in almost a month. That came as the dollar

USDJPY, -0.15%

  remained just above ¥111 following Japan’s better-than-expected second-quarter GDP report — which had little impact on local markets. Yields for 10-year Japanese government bonds were off a half-basis-point at 0.105%.

South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, -0.73%

  opened solidly lower, hit by weakness in Samsung

005930, -3.62%

 , which was off more than 3.5% after its new Galaxy Note 9 device was unveiled but won few fans.

After four days of gains, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, -0.32%

  was off 0.2%. Property stocks rebounded, with CR Land

1109, +2.50%

  and Country Garden

2007, +2.38%

  bouncing more than 2%. But tech was weak, and Tencent

0700, -0.86%

  fell 0.8%.

As in Hong Kong, Chinese stocks got a lift from the beaten-down real-estate segment. The broader market extended Thursday’s bounce, with the Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, -0.05%

  up 0.2% and the Shenzhen Composite

399106, +0.41%

  up 0.6%. Energy names continued to retreat on weak oil prices.

Australia’s benchmark index

XJO, -0.04%

  was down fractionally, as energy stocks continued to sag. Oil Search

OSH, -2.19%

  was down 2% and Woodside Petroleum

WPL, -0.99%

  was off 1%. Meanwhile, there was nothing in the Friday’s policy/forecast report from the Reserve Bank of Australia to suggest it’s getting closer to raising interest rates. Stocks in New Zealand

NZ50GR, +0.39%

  were up slightly after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand took a dovish stand on rates the day before, pushing back its rate-hike forecasts by a full year to 2020.

Malaysian stocks

FBMKLCI, +0.18%

  were about flat after having already risen 21 of the past 24 days. Singapore’s Strait Times Index

STI, -1.17%

 , which was closed Thursday for a holiday, dove more than 1%, and Taiwan’s Taiex

Y9999, -0.13%

  was in the red as well.

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