November 20, 2019 / 2:32 AM / 18 days ago

Japanese shares fall as Trump repeats threats of more tariffs on China

TOKYO, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would raise tariffs on Chinese imports if no deal was reached with Beijing to end a trade war.

At 0205 GMT the Nikkei index was down 0.83% at 23,096.61.

Trump’s comments, which he made on Tuesday at a cabinet meeting at the White House, further dented hopes for a resolution to a 16-month long trade war that has curbed global trade.

The United States and China have exchanged tit-for-tat tariffs that have roiled financial markets and threatened to drag growth in the global economy to its lowest rate since the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

Sticking points include how and when to reduce tariffs and how much U.S. agricultural products China would commit to buy.

Some traders are also worried about a further deterioration in U.S.-China relations after the U.S. Senate, in a unanimous vote, passed legislation on Tuesday to protect human rights in Hong Kong, which has been rocked by violent protest against Chinese rule of the former British colony.

China’s foreign ministry said it strongly condemned the measure.

There were 89 advancers on the Nikkei index against 128 decliners on Wednesday.

The largest percentage losses in the index were insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc down 3.96%, followed by shipping companies Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd losing 3.93% and Nippon Yusen KK down by 3.87%.

The largest percentage gainers in the index were Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co up 5.45%, followed by Casio Computer Co gaining 2.27% and online commerce company Rakuten Inc up by 2.09%.

The Topix index fell 0.68% to 1,685.19, on course for its biggest decline since Nov. 14.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.4 billion, compared with the average of 1.25 billion yen in the past 30 days. (Editing by Sam Holmes)

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