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Asian shares trade on down note as optimism ebb

Asian shares retreated on Monday as concerns over faster rate increases in the U.S. and uncertainty around the China-U.S. trade dispute held back investment in riskier assets.

Photo: Reuters

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares slumped 1.4 percent, edging towards 1-1/2 year low of 505.61 points, scaled last week.

Japan's Nikkei fell 1.6 percent following its best week since mid-2016.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite skidded near 0.4 percent while the Shenzhen Composite was steady. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 2 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi slid 0.9 percent, erasing Friday's 3.5 percent surge, while Australia’s ASX 200 closed down 0.5 percent.

U.S. stocks dipped on Friday amid worries a trade agreement between the United States and China may not be reached in the near future.

In commodities, crude prices dropped as the beginning to U.S. sanctions against Iran’s exports was eased by waivers that will allow some nations to still buy Iranian crude.

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