Hong Kong, China :Asian markets fell on Monday after a US-led strike on Syrian targets fuelled fresh geopolitical concerns over the tinderbox Middle East, though analysts said investors were hopeful the crisis would not escalate. The US, Britain and France carried out their hit at the weekend on alleged chemical weapons facilities, in response to what they say was a toxic gas attack by the Russia-backed Assad regime a week before. While there was broad support for the mission, Moscow condemned it as illegal and warned it would provoke “chaos” in international relations. The Syria crisis, which has seen the West’s relationship with Russia grow increasingly frosty, has encompassed other regional players including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel, and led to talk of a military standoff. It also comes against the backdrop of a trade spat between the United States and China, which many fear could hammer the global economy if the two sides push through threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods. Most markets were down on Monday but the losses were limited. Hong Kong fell more than one percent, while Shanghai slipped 0.8 percent, with traders there awaiting the release Tuesday of first-quarter Chinese growth data. Singapore fell 0.4 percent and Seoul was off 0.1 percent, while Wellington and Taipei also fell.
Orignally published by APP