* China August exports up 9.5% y/y; imports down 2.1%
* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
Sept 7 (Reuters) – Most Asian stock markets followed China lower on Monday on fears that Sino-U.S. tensions would find new life on the possible blacklisting of China’s largest chipmaker, while Philippine shares climbed nearly 3% in thin holiday trade.
Shanghai and Hong Kong shares of China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) tumbled after Reuters reported the Pentagon was considering whether to add the chipmaker to a blacklist. and concerns over the pace of a global recovery from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus crisis dampened broad indicators of Asia-Pacific shares.
Stocks advanced 0.7% in South Korea , who along with Taiwan, dominates Asian chip production outside China.
Those gains were helped by Samsung Electronics , who won a $6.64 billion order for wireless communication solutions in the United States, a beneficiary of U.S. sanctions on larger Chinese rival Huawei HWT.UL .
Taipei shares were marginally lower, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) , the world’s largest chipmaker, also fell.
Chinese exports rose for a third month, climbing 9.5% in August from a year earlier, topping expectations, while imports saw a sharper fall, signalling that domestic demand is still sluggish. composite index closed nearly 2% lower after initially paring losses following the trade data.
“Overall, the data continues to highlight exports resilience and while this is in part due to Covid related products, the data is encouraging from China’s perspective,” Mitul Kotecha, a senior emerging markets strategist for TD Securities, wrote in a note.
But he cautioned that “China continues to undershoot phase 1 imports targets from the U.S. despite efforts to increase agriculture imports.”
A steady dollar left little room for the region’s emerging currencies, which were mostly higher. China’s yuan CNY=CFXS firmed 0.2%.
The Philippines , the region’s worst performer so far this year, jumped 2.6%. The index also outperformed a broad sell-off on Friday after data showed inflation eased to the slowest pace in three months in August, opening up the prospect for further policy easing. peso weakened 0.2%.
U.S. and Thai markets are closed on Monday for public holidays.
Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0723 GMT COUNTRY
DAILY % YTD %
DAILY % YTD % Japan
-0.50 -2.40 China
-0.04 -6.90 Indonesia
-0.34 -17.10 Malaysia
-0.39 -4.96 Philippines
2.61 -24.05 S.Korea
-0.02 -22.14 Taiwan