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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks fall more amid lingering worries over US-China trade

Chinese companies biggest contributors to A300 losses

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares extended losses on Friday as investors continued to shun regional risk assets amid persisting uncertainty over U.S.-China trade relations.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index of companies outside Japan fell 1.2% to 1,257.44. The gauge lost 3.3% this week after the U.S. increased tariffs of Chinese shipments last Friday.

Chinese companies were among the biggest contributors to the losses on the A300 on Friday. Mainland companies have been under pressure most of this week after the U.S. raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports and put out a notice to begin imposing a 25% tariff on around additional $300 billion worth Chinese shipments which are currently not taxed.

Trade ties between the two nations took a turn for the worse after Beijing said it will raise tariffs on a wide variety of U.S. goods with effect from June 1.

There was more negative news to follow. The U.S. Department of Commerce on Wednesday said that it will add Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies to its "Entity List," banning the company from buying components and technology from U.S. companies without approval.

"Caution and growing unease sum up the atmosphere for financial markets as investors buckle up their seatbelts and prepare for more twists and turns to come in response to escalating tensions between the world's two largest economies," Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM, said.

Among the losers in Chinese companies on Friday, Hong Kong-shares of WH Group, a pork producer with significant interests in the U.S., tumbled 3.5%. China Life Insurance, down 2.1%, paced losses among insurers, while Great Wall Motor led carmakers lower with a 2.5% decline. Chinese mobile gaming major Tencent Holdings, an A300 index heavyweight, dropped 2.7%.

Another index heavyweight Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. declined 2.2%. ZTE tumbled 8.1% to add to yesterday's over 6% decline.

Hindalco Industries slipped 1.4%, a day after the Indian aluminum producer reported a 37% decline in March quarter standalone net profit.

Singapore equities were under pressure on Friday after data showed the nation's non-oil exports declined 10% in April from a year earlier amid a fall in both electronics and non-electronics shipments.

DBS Group Holdings fell 2.6%. Singapore's airport-services company SATS declined 2.7% after its fourth-quarter net profit fell 23.7% from a year earlier. Singapore Airlines declined 1.1% after its fourth-quarter net profit fell 27.9% on-year, dragged by higher fuel costs.

--Nimesh Vora

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