July 2 (Reuters) - Asian stocks declined sharply in June amid higher global bond yields and mounting China-U.S. trade friction that threatened global economic growth.
In the first half of 2018, the MSCI Asia-ex-Japan index fell 5.4 percent, marking its biggest drop in five years. The Asian markets saw a similar dismal performance in 2013 when the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would unwind its monetary easing policy, stoking a broad sell-off in regional markets.
Trade tensions between two of the world’s biggest economies - the United States and China - escalated last month keeping Asian markets on the edge.
The United States has threatened to impose duties on up to $450 billion of Chinese imports, with the first $34 billion portion set to go into effect by July 6 deadline. Chinese stock markets dropped about 8 percent in June, posting their biggest decline in 29 months. China’s yuan was trading near a seven-month low on Monday as investors took a cautious stance amid a widening trade conflict.
Thailand and Hong Kong stocks saw a sharp decline in June, while New Zealand shares ended 3.3 percent higher last month.
New Zealand, India and Australia stocks have the highest price-earnings ratio based on 12-month forward earnings in the region, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.
Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips