Business

Asia shares down despite China trade jump

Hong Kong Hang Seng Index

Last Updated at 23 Feb 2018, 08:10 GMT *Chart shows local time Hang Seng intraday chart
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Asian shares fell to seven-month lows as positive trade data from China failed to ease concerns over global economic growth.

World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings on Saturday called for bold action to boost economic recovery.

But September trade figures from China painted a rosier picture, as export and import growth beat market expectations.

That, however, did little to boost the MSCI Asia-Pacific index excluding Japan, which fell 0.8%.

In Hong Kong, stocks headed lower at the start of the trading session as police began to remove barricades at sites where pro-democracy demonstrators held rallies.

But strength in blue chip stocks helped turn around the Hong Kong market, with the benchmark Hang Seng index reversing earlier losses to close up 0.2% at 23,143.38.

China Mobile shares gained 1.8% on news it had signed a business deal with Germany's Deutsche Telekom last Friday.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite closed the Monday session down 0.4% at 2,366.01.

In Australia, shares hit their lowest since February as economic uncertainty weighed on the big banks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 0.6% at 5,155.5 points.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia was down 0.9%, while shares in ANZ dropped 0.6%.

Bucking the trend were heavyweight miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, up 0.9% and 1.9% respectively, following the better-than-expected trade data out of China.

South Korea's Kospi fell 0.7% to close at 1,927.21, with tech shares leading the downtrend. Samsung Electronics was down 0.2%, while LG Electronics fell more than 2%.

Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

Oil prices tumble

Oil prices fell further on Monday, hovering near four-year lows after Kuwait said oil cartel Opec was unlikely to cut production to support prices.

Another big oil producer, Saudi Arabia, also said that it was ready to accept prices as low as $80 a barrel.

US November crude futures fell $1.01 a barrel to $84.81, while Brent crude fell $1.12 a barrel to $89.25.