Asian stocks lower after US-China trade jitters resurface

04-Sep-2019 Intellasia | AP | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Global stock markets were mostly lower Tuesday amid revived jitters over US-Chinese trade tension and wrangling by British lawmakers over whether to try to postpone leaving the European Union.

Benchmarks in London, Frankfurt and Hong Kong declined. Shanghai closed lower and Tokyo was little changed.

Investor optimism about US-Chinese talks this month aimed at ending a tariff war was shaken by a Bloomberg News report that trade envoys were struggling to agree on a schedule.

Markets had reacted less strongly to last weekend’s US and Chinese tariff hikes in a fight over trade and technology.

The report is a reminder “of the tremendous gulf between the US and China in reconciling their differences over trade, leaving the global economy hanging in the balance,” Han Tan of FXTM said in a report.

Britain’s Parliament was due to reconvene after prime minister Boris Johnson’s office said he would call an early election if his opponents pass legislation that would block his plans to leave the EU by an October 31 deadline.

Opposition parties are challenging Johnson’s plan to withdraw from the European market of 500 million people even if the two sides haven’t agreed on terms for future trade and travel.

In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 was off 4 points at 7,278.30 and Frankfurt’s DAX lost 0.4 percent to 11,908.80. France’s CAC 40 retreated 0.4 percent to 5,469.29.

On Monday, the FTSE 100 rose 1.1 percent and the CAC 40 added 0.2%. The DAX was 0.1 percent higher.

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index was off 0.6 percent with trading due to resume after a three-day weekend. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.7%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.2 percent at 2,930.15 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was 5 points higher at 20,625.16. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.4 percent to 25,527.85.

Seoul’s Kospi shed 0.2 percent to 1,965.69 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 1.5 percent to 6,573.40. India’s Sensex fell 1.6 percent to 36,731.51.

New Zealand and Singapore advanced while Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines retreated.

President Donald Trump has sounded optimistic about negotiations over China’s trade surplus and complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

But there is no indication either side is willing to break a deadlock in talks by offering concessions.

On Sunday, the United States started charging a 15 percent tariff on about $112 billion of Chinese products. China responded by charging tariffs of 10 percent and 5 percent on a list of American goods.

AUSTRALIAN RATES: The Reserve Bank of Australia held its benchmark interest rate steady at 1 percent at its September board meeting. A bank statement cited risks to global growth from the US-Chinese tariff war and uncertainty over Australian consumer spending. ENERGY: Benchmark US crude lost 74 cents to $54.36 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.61 on Monday to close at $55.10. Brent crude, used to price international oils, retreated 59 cent to $58.07 per barrel in London. It sank 69 cents the previous session to $58.66.

CURRENCY: The dollar retreated to 106.06 yen from Monday’s 106.22 yen. The euro declined to $1.0948 from $1.0969.


Category: FinanceAsia

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