Investing.com - Asian stocks fell in morning trade on Wednesday as the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade war continued to sour sentiment for risk assets.
China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component both fell 0.3% by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.6%.
Trade tensions ratcheted higher after the Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper, tweeted that China was seriously considering cutting exports of rare earth metals in response to the U.S.’s recent imposition of higher import tariffs on its goods and an effective boycott of telecoms giant Huawei.
It came after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that Washington was not ready to make a deal with China yet.
Shares of Asian rare earths companies surged following the news. China Northern Rare Earth Group High-Tech Co Ltd (SS:600111) surged 6%, while the Australia-listed Lynas Corporation Ltd (ASX:LYC) jumped as much as 11%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 1.3%.
Automaker Toyota Motor Corp (T:7203) made headlines after the Nikkei business daily reported that the company is considering investing $550 million in Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing. The company might also launch a new mobility-services company in China, according to Nikkei.
South Korea’s KOSPI declined by 1.4%. Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 dropped 0.8%.
Overnight, U.S. stocks closed lower, with the Dow and S&P 500 index dropping almost 1%.