Asian Stocks Pull Back Amid Global Economic Uncertainty

Shares in Asia closed lower on Monday, signaling growing investor concern over forthcoming economic events that include meetings of central banks this week and the Brexit referendum next week.

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Central bank officials in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland and Japan are set for meetings this week. It seems investors are not sure what to expect as the monetary regulators meet.

What transpired in Japan?

There was little to lift Japanese stocks, leading the Nikkei 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) down 3.51% at close. With that, the Nikkei registered its new one-month low. Losses in Japan’s Precision Instruments, Mining and Shipbuilding industry led the country’s shares lower.

Foreign investor appetite in Japanese shares appears to have been significantly doused this year. For example, it has emerged that net selling by international investors from Japanese investments for the January-May period stands at about 4.5 trillion yen or $42.07 billion. That is in sharp contrast to net purchase of more than 2.83 trillion yen over the same period last year.

Taiwanese shares tumble

Taiwan stocks also pulled back, with the Taiwan Weighted shedding several points to close 2.06% lower than Friday’s closing mark. Stock losses in Taiwan were led by massive pullbacks in Iron and Steel and Plastic industries.

In South Korea, The KOSPI shed 38.57 to close 1.91% lower than the previous closing.

Investor sentiment in China remain lower

Indicative of the weak investor sentiment in China, the country’s major stock indices closed in the red on Monday. The Shanghai Composite pulled back 3.21% relative to the previous close and the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) moved south 2.60%.

Commodity markets

Crude oil (NYSEARCA:OIL) contract for July delivery declined 1.28% to $48.44 a barrel in Japan. Brent oil for delivery in August was down 1.19% $49.94 a barrel. Gold future for August delivery was up 0.70% to $1284.85 a troy ounce, a sign that investors are against showing a preference for safe havens. The yen also gained ground against the greenback in another indicator of growing appetite for safe havens. The USD/JPY pair (CURRENCY:USD) was down 0.89% to 106.05.

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