Asia Stocks Fall From Four-Month High After Trump’s Travel Ban

  • ‘Ban could have a domino effect across markets,’ Inovero says
  • Idea Cellular jumps after Vodafone confirms India merger talks

Sorting the Good and the Bad of the Trump Trade

Asian shares fell from a four-month high on concern about rising global trade and geopolitical risks after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.4 percent as of 4:12 p.m. in Hong Kong, snapping a three-day rally. Financial and technology shares were the biggest drag as all 11 industry groups declined except real estate shares. The U.S. dollar weakened against most of its major peers as Trump’s executive order drew condemnation globally. Markets in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam are among those closed for Lunar New Year holidays. The benchmark equities index in Indonesia, home to world’s largest Muslim population and isn’t covered by the travel ban, rose to a three-week high.

“Trump’s travel ban raises the question what’s more to come from here,” said Andrew Inovero, assistant vice president for trust and investment at Malayan Bank. “This ban could have a domino effect across markets as it affects trade, travel and global growth. There’s a greater possibility we’d see more restrictive U.S. policies.”

Summary

  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia -1%, Sumitomo Mitsui -1.3%, Westpac Banking -1.1%
  • Tata Consultancy -1.1%, Wipro -0.6%
  • Toshiba -3.7%; co. is looking to sell more assets amid multibillion-dollar write downs
  • Hoshizaki -6.2%, MXAP’s biggest loser after co. reports preliminary full-year oper. profit 34.5b yen compared with with consensus est. of 35.9b yen
  • Qantas -1.1%; co. offers refunds to those hit by Trump ban, ABC reports
  • Idea Cellular +26%, most since debut in 2007; Vodafone confirms talks on Vodafone India-Idea all-share merger
  • Nomura Research +7.7%; co. on Friday reported oper. profit rose 8.8% for three months ended Dec.
  • Topix -0.4%, Nikkei 225 -0.5% in Tokyo
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index -0.9%; New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index -0.7%
  • Thailand’s SET Index +0.1%; India’s Sensex Index +0.2%
  • Philippine Stock Exchange Index little changed; Jakarta Composite Index +0.1%
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