Asian markets mostly down as traders ease into weekend

09-Nov-2019 Intellasia | AFP | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Asian markets fell on Friday as investors took their foot off the pedal after another healthy week, with eyes fixated on the next move in the China-US trade talks.

News out of Beijing that it had agreed a plan with Washington to start rolling back tariffs if negotiations progress fired a rally in late business on Thursday, and helped the Dow and S&P 500 to more records.

The announcement fanned hopes the world’s economic superpowerswho are currently finalising a mini trade pact as part of a wider dealcan resolve their long-running tariffs war that has hobbled the global growth outlook.

It also eased worries about the negotiations caused by reports that a hoped-for signing ceremony this month between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping could be delayed until December.

“The elevation of discussion from a trade truce to a possible tariff rollback is important and suggests both China and the US have come under pressure to seal a deal,” National Australia Bank’s Tapas Strickland said in a note.

But dealers were unable to carry the baton further in Asia after the White House failed to comment on the Chinese claims, while a report said there was some opposition within the administration to such a move.

Adding to the malaise was a certain amount of profit-taking after another strong week across equity markets, which have been on a rally since last month as the trade talks showed progress.

– ‘Critical piece of the puzzle’ -

Referring to the lack of response from Washington, AxiTrader’s Stephen Innes said: “Missing this critical piece of the puzzle, there remains a touch of uncertainty.”

He added that, assuming the “phase one” agreement is signed, “it’s hard to expect much, if anything else, to propel expectations in a positive direction further. If the phase one deal is signed, the markets will then pivot to the degree of rollbacks in exchange for harmony on remaining structural issues.”

Hong Kong fell 0.8 percent in the afternoon following a six-day advance, while dealers in the city were bracing for a fresh weekend of protests after the death of a student who sustained head injuries when he fell during clashes with police.

Shanghai gave up 0.5 percent after data showed Chinese exports and imports fell again last month, though not as quickly as expected, while Singapore was off 0.9 percent and Seoul retreated 0.3 percent.

Taipei lost 0.2 percent, Manila was down 0.7 percent and Jakarta gave up 0.1 percent.

Mumbai fell 0.2 percent and India’s rupee sank 0.5 percent after Moody’s lowered its ratings outlook on the country’s debt.

The pound remained subdued after taking a hit on Thursday from an economic growth downgrade for 2020 by the Bank of England that fuelled speculation it could cut interest rates soon.

The central bank kept rates on hold but the decision was split for the first time in more than a year, with two dissenters calling for a reduction in borrowing costs to fend off the feared downturn.

– Key figures around 0720 GMT -

TokyoNikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 23,391.87 (close)

Hong KongHang Seng: DOWN 0.8 percent at 27,625.21

ShanghaiComposite: DOWN 0.5 percent at 2,964.18 (close)

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2811 from $1.2813 at 2100 GMT

euro/pound: UP at 86.26 pence from 86.23 pence

euro/dollar: UP at $1.1052 from $1.1049

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.26 yen from 109.29 yen

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 55 cents at $56.60 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 49 cents at $61.80 per barrel

New YorkDow: UP 0.7 percent at 27,674.80 (close)

LondonFTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,406.41 (close)–finance.html


Category: FinanceAsia

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