Asia Markets: Nikkei leads Asian-market losses as investors’ geopolitical worries grow

Japan’s Nikkei slumped more than 1% in early trading Wednesday, as Asian stock markets pulled back following new uncertainty about trade tensions between the U.S. and China and the possibility that the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be delayed.

The Nikkei NIK, -1.08%   fell to its lowest point since May 11 in midmorning trading as the yen rose. The yen is seen as a safe haven for investors during times of stock tumult. The dollar JPYUSD, +0.382896%   slid below ¥110.50 after trading above ¥111 in New York late Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he was “not really” happy with trade negotiations with China, and warned that the summit with North Korea “may not work out for June 12.”

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.98%   also fell around 1%, with the energy and financial sectors leading the losses. Insurer AIA Group Ltd. 1299, -2.60%   sank more than 2% a day after surging more than 3%. In mainland China, the Shanghai SHCOMP, -0.80%   and Shenzhen 399106, -0.56%   composite indexes were down slightly. South Korea’s Kospi was about flat, as tech giants Samsung Electronics 005930, +2.80%   and SK Hynix Inc 000660, +5.50%   jumped. Stocks in Taiwan Y9999, -0.17%   and Singapore STI, -1.08%   fell.

Energy stocks dragged down Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.14%  , with the sector down more than 2.5%, on pace for its worst day since 2016. Santos Ltd. STO, -8.85%   plummeted 9% while Oil Search Limited OSH, -1.40%   and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. WPL, -1.58%   each fell more than 1%.

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