By Tomo Uetake
TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares hit fresh one-year lows in early trading on Thursday, while oil and precious metal prices also tumbled as Turkey’s currency crisis and fears of an economic slowdown in China fanned worries about global growth.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> fell 1.0 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei <.N225> and the Australian benchmark <.AXJO> dropped 1.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
Chinese stocks continued to sag, with the Shanghai Composite Index <.SSEC> and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index <.HSI> shedding 1.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
Tech shares came under pressure after China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd <0700.HK> reported its first quarterly profit fall in nearly 13 years on weak gaming revenue. The knock to the rest of the sector sent South Korea’s Samsung Electronics <005930.KS> to a one-year low.
Wall Street’s major indexes closed lower on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 <.SPX> down 0.8 percent, its biggest percentage drop since late June, amid disappointing earnings and escalating global trade worries.
“Negative news come from Turkey and China every day is upsetting global markets,” said Norihiro Fujito, senior market strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
“Also, Tencent’s earnings shock hurt tech stocks, sending the tech-heavy Nasdaq lower. It reminded investors that the U.S.-China trade spat is starting to harm the health of even the tech firms, which had been a major driver of the U.S. share rally.”
Oil prices took an additional hit after data showed a surprise weekly increase in U.S. crude stockpiles, compounding worries about a weaker global economic growth outlook.
U.S. crude oil <CLc1> fell to two-month lows, falling 0.6 percent in early Asian trade to as low as $64.42 per barrel, after Wednesday’s 3.2 percent fall.
Brent <LCOc1> slipped 0.25 percent to $70.58, after a fall of 2.4 percent on Wednesday.
Spot gold <XAU=> dropped 1.0 percent to $1,162.31 an ounce in early Asian trade on Thursday, hitting its lowest levels since January last year.
Copper <CMCU3> lost 4.0 percent to $5,801.00 a tonne and zinc <CMZN3> fell 6.3 percent, touching its lowest level since October 2016 on Wednesday.
The escalation in global trade tensions continued to weigh on sentiment with Beijing lodging a complaint to the World Trade Organisation to determine the legality of U.S. tariff and subsidy policies.
Turkey also raised tariffs on some U.S. products in response to Washington’s levies, Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.
The United States on Wednesday ruled out removing steel tariffs that have contributed to a currency crisis in Turkey even if Ankara frees a U.S. pastor, as Qatar pledged $15 billion in investment to Turkey, supporting a rise in the Turkish lira.
The euro <EUR=> and the offshore Chinese yuan <CNY=D4> bounced back following a report that Chinese delegation led by vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen will travel to the United States for trade talks in late August.
The euro and yuan gained 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
(Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Sam Holmes)