Asian stocks in mixed mood over the trade agreement perspective

Marco Green
August 13, 2019

Australian shares dipped about 0.1 per cent while the South Korean market clawed back from early losses to rise 0.12 per cent.

Worries about the damaging effects of the trade war were underscored by a warning from Goldman Sachs of the rising risk of a USA recession, and that it no longer expects a trade deal before the 2020 US presidential election.

Investors were encouraged by hopes global central banks will keep interest rates low to shore up economic growth. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.

In midday trading in Europe, France's CAC 40 fell 0.4% to 5,307, while London's FTSE also slid 0.4% to 7,222.

"Wall Street's benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped as much as 1.3% Friday after Trump said it would be "fine" if trade talks next month don't happen". "Headwinds remain strong as a deal in the short term between the USA and China is a long shot".

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7% to 2,793.67 points while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was little-changed at 25,937.44. In addition, stock market trading was relatively calm as the major financial markets in Japan, India and Singapore were closed due to national holidays. Seoul's Kospi gained 0.2% to 1,942.99 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was 6 points higher at 6,590.30. Markets in Taiwan and New Zealand declined.

The S&P 500 opened lower by 11.58 points, or 0.40%, at 2,907.07. The Nasdaq lost 1%.

The September crude contract was up five cents at US$54.55 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was unchanged at US$2.12 per mmBTU. Blue-chip shares rose 1.04%, with listed brokerages boosted by a late-Friday announcement from China's securities regulator of relaxed margin financing rules. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, shed 39 cents to $58.14 per barrel in London.

The earlier gains had been aided by Chinese shares rallying from the previous week's losses.

The dollar dropped 0.25 per cent against the yen to 105.40, while the euro edged higher to $1.1203. The precious metal shed some early gains on Monday but last traded flat at $1,496.37 per ounce.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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