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Asia Markets: Asian markets slump amid new worries from North Korea

May 16
09:52 2018

Asian stock markets edged lower in early trading Wednesday, after disappointing economic data from Japan and ominous threats from North Korea.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.38%   slipped after data showed the country’s economy contracted in the first quarter for the first time since late 2015, snapping the longest stretch of economic growth in 28 years. The economy shrank 0.6%, government data said, thanks largely to weak private consumption and business investment.

Banking, metals and energy stocks led the declines, with shares of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 8306, -3.46%   dropping by as much as 5%.

Markets were also put on edge after North Korea issued two separate threats to cancel the upcoming summit with President Donald Trump. Rising Treasury yields in the U.S. also worried investors. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note climbed to match its highest levels since 2011 early Tuesday.

In South Korea, the Kospi index SEU, -0.10%   slipped, despite gains by tech giant Samsung Electronics 005930, +1.52%  . Stocks were also lower in Hong Kong HSI, -0.56%  , Shanghai SHCOMP, -0.30%   and Singapore STI, -0.17%  .

Australian stocks XJO, +0.47%   rose slightly, with banking and energy shares leading the way.

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