Asian shares decline amid investor worries over Turkey

Asian markets declined early on Monday after investor sentiment took a hit amid the slump in the Turkish lira on geopolitical developments.

The Nikkei 225 slid 0.92 percent in early trade amid strength in the yen. The safe-haven currency traded at 110.63 to the dollar at 8:01 a.m. HK/SIN, compared to levels around 110.90 seen on Friday, amid recent uncertainty in Turkey.

That, in turn, saw exporter stocks trade lower in the morning, with automakers and electric appliances taking a hit. Toyota Motor declined 0.81 percent and Canon lost 1.5 percent. Banks led losses in the morning, with the sector losing 2.04 percent.

Elsewhere, the Kospi eased 0.68 percent as tech stocks extended recent declines, with heavyweight Samsung Electronics losing 1.21 percent.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 recorded slimmer losses, with the index last trading lower by 0.26 percent as the dip in the heavily weighted financials sector was partially offset by gains seen in energy and information technology stocks.

Markets in Thailand are closed on Monday for a holiday.

The moves lower in Asia came after U.S. stocks dropped on Friday, triggered by fears over the sell-off in the Turkish lira after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had approved the doubling of metals tariffs against Turkey on Friday. The lira briefly slumped 20 percent against the dollar after the announcement.

The Turkish currency ended the last session down by some 16 percent and extended its declines early on Monday, edging past the 7.00 level to the dollar to touch a new record low. It later pared some losses to last trade at 6.8145.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.77 percent, or 196.09 points, to close at 25,313.14 and also erasing its gains for the month. Other U.S. indexes also notched declines of a similar magnitude.

Markets in Europe were also affected by the ongoing turmoil in Turkey, with investors concerned about the contagion effect of lira’s steep fall on banks in the region. The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell more than 1 percent in the end of that session.

On the commodities front, oil prices added slightly to gains made in the previous session on the back of concerns over supply. Brent crude futures were mostly steady, adding 0.03 percent to trade at $72.83 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.15 percent to $67.73.

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