Asian markets were mostly higher on Thursday as China said that it would retaliate against the latest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.
The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component rebounded and traded 1.7% and 2.8% higher by 11:05PM ET (03:05 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also gained 0.9%.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced a 25% tariff on $16 billion worth of U.S. goods including passenger cars and motorcycles on Wednesday. Beijing’s announcement came after the Trump administration confirmed a list of $16 billion worth of Chinese goods that would be hit with tariffs in the previously day. China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that the U.S.’s decision is “very unreasonable,” and that China has no choice but to retaliate.
Separately, the China Passenger Car Association said on Wednesday that vehicle sales in China slipped for a second consecutive month. Retail sales of cars, SUVs and multipurpose vehicles fell 5.4% to 1.6 million units in July, compared with a 3.7% drop in June and trimmed the year-to-date growth in the world’s biggest automobile market to 2%.
A slowing economy and a tit-for-tat trade war with the U.S. were cited as headwind for the car sales in China.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.2% after data showed the country’s core machinery orders fell 8.8% in June, the fastest pace in six months, compared to the median estimate for a 1.3% decline.
Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.7% in morning trade, although the energy subindex underperformed amid drop in oil prices. Santos Ltd (AX:STO) fell 0.5% and Woodside Petroleum Ltd (AX:WPL) lost 0.2%.
Elsewhere, South Korea’s KOSPI was little changed at 2301.3.