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Nikkei Markets

Nikkei Asia300 falls as US threatens new tariffs on China

Beijing warns of counter-measures after Washington threatens fresh import tariffs

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan fell on Wednesday, as the U.S. threatened to up the ante with fresh tariffs on imports from China.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index declined 1.1% to 1,300.24. U.S. equity futures pointed to a weaker opening on Wall Street after the White House late Tuesday said it will evaluate 10% tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods. The news came less than a week after Washington's introduction of import tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods prompted a similar response from Beijing.

A statement from China's Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday said the U.S. actions were hurting China and the whole world, including the U.S., and that China will be forced to take counter-measures.

Nikkei's country gauge for China and the benchmark Shanghai Composite slid 1.8% each on Wednesday, while the onshore traded yuan dropped 0.7% to 6.6735 against the U.S. dollar.

"As we saw in the last 24 hours, U.S. application of tariffs on Chinese goods is not a one and done event, the U.S. will continue to try and apply tariffs across a broad range of Chinese goods. However, this process will take time," Hannah Anderson, J.P. Morgan Asset Management's global market strategist, wrote in a note. "It is something investors need to be paying attention to as it is far from over, and the impact will be global."

She does not expect the proposed tariffs to become effective before Sept. 1.

Technology heavyweights Tencent Holdings, Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) fell 1.9%, 0.7% and 0.9%, respectively, weighing on the gauge.

Great Wall Motor fell 0.9% in Hong Kong. On Tuesday, the carmaker said it plans to form a 50-50 joint venture with Germany's BMW for the research and production of new energy vehicles and internal combustion vehicles. Brilliance China, an existing joint venture partner with BMW, dropped 2.9%.

China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) declined 0.9%. The company on Tuesday said it would inject 4.9 billion yuan ($736 million) in capital for a 49% stake in a joint venture with controlling shareholder Sinopec Group. The JV, Sinopec Capital, will engage in project investments and financial services.

Tata Consultancy Services jumped 5.5% to an all-time high of 1,979.60 rupees in Mumbai after India's largest software services exporter reported a better-than-expected 24% jump in first-quarter net profit. Late Tuesday, the company said consolidated net profit for the quarter ended in June stood at 73.40 billion rupees ($1.1 billion), compared with 59.45 billion rupees a year earlier. Revenue grew 16% to 342.61 billion rupees.

--Amy Lam and V. Phani Kumar

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