Asia Markets: Asian markets sink amid Wall Street losses, new U.S. tariffs against EU

Asian markets fell in early trading Thursday, following losses on Wall Street triggered by fresh worries about an economic slowdown.

U.S. stocks are off to their worst start to a quarter since 2008, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.86%   has lost more than 800 points in the past two days. Data showing slower job creation and weaker manufacturing output are indicating that the Trump administration’s trade war is taking a toll on the U.S. economy.

Global markets were further uneased after the U.S. announced late Wednesday that it planned to slap tariffs as high as 25% on $7.5 billion of European imports, after the WTO ruled the EU improperly favored Airbus over Boeing in a long-running trans-Atlantic dispute.

“The dreary economic data does perhaps suggest that traders could be better sellers in this risk-toxic environment,” Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -2.02%   dropped 2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.46%   slipped 0.6%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -1.89%   fell 1.9% and New Zealand’s NZX 50 NZ50GR, -1.05%   slid 1.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, -0.70%  , Singapore STI, -0.80%  , Malaysia FBMKLCI, -0.48%   and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.37%   all declined. Markets in mainland China and South Korea were closed for holidays.

Among individual stocks, SoftBank 9984, -2.31%  , Fast Retailing 9983, -2.82%  , Toyota 7203, -2.57%   and Honda 7267, -2.45%   all sank in Tokyo trading. Casino operator Galaxy Entertainment 27, +2.57%   rose in Hog Kong, while Wharf Real Estate 1997, -1.49%   and CNOOC 883, -1.69%   declined. In Australia, Beach Energy BPT, -1.22%  , BHP BHP, -2.67%   and Westpac Banking WBC, -2.19%   all fell.

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