December 31, 2018 / 10:31 AM / 7 months ago

Asian shares post sharpest losses in seven years in 2018

Investors monitor share market prices in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/Files

(Reuters) - Asian stock markets ended 2018 with negative returns in dollar terms, weighed down by trade tensions and slowing profit growth.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 16 percent this year in its sharpest drop since 2011.

Chinese equities were the top losers in the region, shedding about 29 percent in dollar terms, followed by Pakistan and South Korea.

This year’s sharp declines have made regional stocks cheaper which could prompt bargain-hunting, some analysts said.

South Korean equities were the cheapest in the region with a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 8.8, followed by China’s 9.9, Refinitiv data showed.

(Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy and Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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