Asian equities were mostly in the red on Monday as investors mulled headlines out of the G-20 finance ministers meeting in Germany at the weekend and China Development Forum over the next two days.
Finance ministers from twenty of the world’s biggest economies held a two-day meeting, and warned against competitive devaluations and disorderly FX markets but failed to agree on keeping global trade free and open.
“Germany Finance Minister Schauble bemoaned the omission for “resit all forms of protectionism” in the G-20 communique as U.S. Treasury Mnuchin preferred to ‘reduce excessive global imbalances…promote greater inclusiveness and fairness,'” said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank, in a Monday note.
Down Under, the ASX 200 closed down 0.36 percent or 20.7 points at 5,778.9.
Australian retailers were under pressure on Monday, due to fears of Amazon potentially launching its service in the country this year, analysts said.
South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.5 percent. Earlier, official data showed that South Korea’s February producer prices rose at its fastest pace in over five years, with the producer price index (PPI) up at 4.2 percent, compared to January’s 3.9 percent.
Over in Beijing, international business leaders, international organizations and Chinese policymakers gather for the 18th session of the China Development Forum.
Official data on Saturday showed that China’s property prices rose in February after having slowed in the past four months. New home prices were up 0.3 percent, compared to January’s 0.2 percent increase. Meanwhile, property sales jumped 25.1 percent in January and February, the strongest annual growth in seven years.
In Southeast Asia, oilfield services firm Ezra Holdings of Singapore filed for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Saturday, and said it had loans of $272 million owed to Singapore’s DBS Group, and $184 million owed to Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Shares of DBS Group and OCBC were down 0.94 percent and 0.62 percent, respectively.