Asian Shares Lower on Friday

(AP) -- Asian shares gave up modest early gains to drift lower on Friday after U.S. stocks skidded amid mounting trade tensions.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1 percent to 22,171.35 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged 0.1 percent lower to 30,423.62. The Shanghai Composite index tumbled 0.7 percent to 3,073.33 and the S&P ASX 200 slipped 0.3 percent to 5,992.80. The Kospi in South Korea jumped 0.7 percent to 2,439.64 and shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

TRADE MOVES: The Trump administration delivered a gut punch to America's closest allies, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from Europe, Mexico and Canada in a move that drew immediate vows of retaliation. The parties will likely keep negotiating, and contentious talks between the U.S. and China are due to resume during the weekend. Experts say a trade war remains a remote possibility, but the disputes have been weighing on the markets for months.

ITALIAN POLITICS: Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and right-wing League succeeded Thursday in forming western Europe's first populist government. It will be headed by a political novice whose first try was rejected four days earlier as too risky for the Italian economy, but the outcome avoids an interim, technical government and a swift return to the polls that investors feared could end up being a referendum on staying with the euro currency.

THE QUOTE: "The markets are looking much more constructive to end the week than they did to start, and with trade wars still lingering, that is saying a lot," Stephen Innes of Oanda said in a commentary. "And despite all the doom and gloom prophesies, the Italian political mind-bender ended up being little more than a tempest in an espresso cup!"

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index lost 0.7 percent to 2,705.27. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1 percent to 24,415.84 and the Nasdaq composite dipped 0.3 percent to 7,442.12 as technology companies like Alphabet and Facebook bucked the market's decline. The Russell 2000 index, which is made up of smaller companies that tend to do more business in the U.S., slipped 0.9 percent to 1,633.61. It closed at a record high Wednesday.

GM-SOFTBANK: After General Motors said SoftBank is taking a 20 percent stake in the GM Cruise automated division, its stock jumped 12.9 percent to $42.70. That was its biggest gain since GM went public again in 2010 after emerging from bankruptcy. In Tokyo, Softbank's shares edged 0.1 percent higher.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil shed 10 cents to $66.94 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 1.7 percent to $67.04 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 6 cents to $77.50 per barrel. It fell 16 cents to $77.56 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.11 yen from 108.83 yen. The euro fell to $1.1668 from $1.1695.

(BE)