August 12, 2019 / 7:53 AM / 3 months ago

Asian share valuations fall as higher trade war risks priced in

FILE PHOTO: A man sits in front of a screen displaying stock information at a brokerage house in Jinhua, Zhejiang province, China August 2, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

(Reuters) - Valuations of Asian shares have dropped sharply over the past month, as regional markets slumped after the United States escalated its trade war with Beijing by threatening to put tariffs on all its imports from China.

Asian stocks’ average forward 12-month price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) fell to 11.1 times at the end of last week, compared with about 12.7 times a month ago, Refinitiv data showed.

Fears about trade war damage worsened after President Donald Trump said he would slap a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion (£249.11 billion) of Chinese imports not already covered by extra duties, starting Sept. 1.

“Trade tension appears to be well-priced, but we think rebound potential is low given our no-deal baseline,” said Goldman Sachs in a report over the weekend.

“We no longer expect a trade deal before the November 2020 US presidential election,” the brokerage said.

Through Aug. 9, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan .MIAP00000PUS had fallen 3.9% this month.

China, Hong Kong and India stocks saw the biggest declines in P/E ratios over the past one month, the data showed.

Despite the sharp fall, Indian shares remained the priciest in the region, with an average forward price/equities ratio of 16.06, highest among its regional peers, followed by Malaysia with a P/E of 15.49.

China stocks were trading at a P/E of 9.05, lowest in the region.

Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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