Asian markets fall, led by Nikkei, amid trade worries

Asian stocks maintained their weakness in early trading Monday as the dollar’s pullback and some renewed trade worries hung over the market.

Japanese stocks were the weakest performer, with the Nikkei NIK, -1.55%  ending the morning down 1.3%. The yen started rallying on Friday and got a fresh boost Monday morning following weekend reports about potential policy tweaks being discussed at the Bank of Japan. But such chatter has surfaced previously, and nothing has yet come to pass.

Indexes in Australia XJO, -0.84% , New Zealand NZ50GR, -0.80%  and STI, -0.43% were off nearly 1%. But declines were much less elsewhere, while Taiwan Y9999, -0.20%  was barely higher on more gains by Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, +1.26% . Stocks in Hong Kong HSI, +0.15% , Shanghai SHCOMP, +0.37%  and Shenzhen 399106, -0.18%  also declined.

South Korea’s Kospi was 0.8% lower as index giant Samsung 005930, -2.21%  was off 2.2%. Korea Electric Power 015760, +3.53% , Hyundai Motor 005380, +1.97%  and Posco 005490, +3.76%  were all up at least 2%.

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