Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo – Nikkei 225’

Asian markets down as attention turns back to trade talks

May 15, 2018

Asian markets fell on Tuesday as trade moves back into view with China and the US holding more high-level talks this week, while oil prices edged higher as tensions in the Middle East simmer.

© AFP | Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is due in Washington for fresh talks aimed at heading off a trade war with the United States


A recent run-up in equities over the past week has also led to profit-taking with Hong Kong turning lower after six straight days of gains.

US markets rose again as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He — President Xi Jinping’s right-hand man on economic issues — headed to Washington on Tuesday for a new round of talks aimed at heading off a trade war between the economic giants.

There are hopes the two sides can hammer out an agreement to end a spat that has seen both sides threaten tariffs on billions of dollars of goods.

Donald Trump’s call to help get Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE “back into business fast” soothed nerves, while Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday he was exploring “alternative remedies” for the firm, which was in April banned from buying crucial US technology for seven years.

“China is reportedly close to removing tariffs on agricultural products in exchange for relief for ZTE,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA. “It helps explain why President Trump said he’d work with President Xi on this company.”

The talks come as US officials try to reach agreements with Canada and Mexico on revising their three-way trade pact, while EU steel tariff exemptions are due to end on June 1.

– ‘Hornet’s nest’ –

Hong Kong was 0.8 percent lower after racking up gains of more than five percent over the previous six sessions, while Tokyo ended the morning slightly down.

Shanghai was marginally down, while Sydney and Singapore each shed 0.4 percent, Seoul gave up 0.6 percent and Taipei dipped 0.2 percent.

However, there were gains in Manila and Kuala Lumpur.

Concerns about the already tinderbox Middle East helped put upward pressure on oil prices, with deadly clashes in Gaza during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem coming less than a week after Trump ripped up the Iran nuclear deal.

“In general, the market is wholly focused on the hornet’s nest in the Middle East that is an accident waiting to happen,” Innes added.

Both main crude contracts are are at highs not seen since November 2014, with economic uncertainty in major producer Venezuela also playing a key role.

The increase in oil prices is helping fan inflation expectations in the United States, which has given fuel to talk that the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates three more times this year

While the dollar was flat against its main peers it was sharply up against most high-yielding currencies including the South Korean won, Mexican peso and Indonesian rupiah.

– Key figures around 0300 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: FLAT at 22,862.79 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.8 percent at 31,292.54

Shanghai – Composite: FLAT at 3,173.77

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1934 from $1.1931 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3565 from $1.3556

Dollar/yen: UP at 109.75 yen from 109.65 yen

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 11 cents at $71.07

Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 15 cents at $78.38 per barrel

New York – Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 24,899.41 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,710.98 (close)


Most Asia markets up but dollar hit by uncertainty — Uncertainty surrounding US policy, spending, taxes, infrastructure, healthcare, trade

March 21, 2017


© AFP | Asian markets are broadly up but uncertainty over US economic policy and future rate hikes is hurting the dollar
HONG KONG (AFP) –  Most Asian markets rose Tuesday following the previous day’s retreat, but the dollar was hit by fresh uncertainty over Donald Trump’s economic policy and contradictory views on future rate hikes by two top Federal Reserve officials.Global stocks started the week with a wobble after G20 finance chiefs failed to renew a longstanding anti-protectionist pledge in the face of Trump’s “America First” push, fuelling fears about the international trade system.

But investors returned to buying in early Asian business, with Hong Kong up 0.3 percent, building on a three-day rally that has pushed it to levels not seen since the summer of 2015.

Sydney and Shanghai were flat, while Seoul jumped more than one percent and Singapore put on 0.1 percent. Taipei, Wellington and Manila were all higher.

But Tokyo ended the morning 0.3 percent lower as traders returned from a long weekend to find the yen had strengthened significantly against the dollar.

The greenback was struggling around the mid-112 zone, down from New York and well off the 113.33 yen mark seen when the Nikkei was last open Friday.

The dollar has come in for heavy selling since the Federal Reserve on Wednesday lifted borrowing costs but pointed to another two rises this year, confounding talk of a possible three or four.

On Monday Chicago Fed President Charles Evans suggested there could be more hikes this year but Minneapolis boss Neel Kashkari said the policy board should take its time.

Image result for Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, photos

Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

The uncertainty surrounding US policy comes as investors are left waiting for some detail from Trump on his promise to ramp up infrastructure spending and slash taxes to fire up the economy.

World markets surged since his November election on expectations he would push the plans through but his lack of anything substantial has spooked some.

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note: “Post (Fed decision) the markets’ attention has turned again to the Trump administration’s lack of concrete policy announcements. With the new administration?s 100 days of action rapidly turning into 100 days of inaction, extended dollar reflationist long positioning has started heading for the door.”

The dollar was also struggling against most other high-yielding units, with the South Korean won up 0.3 percent and the Mexican peso 0.7 percent higher.

– Key figures around 0230 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.3 percent at 19,469.62 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.3 percent at 24,586.66

Shanghai – Composite: FLAT at 3,250.25

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0772 from $1.0746

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2380 from $1.2392

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.50 from 112.71 yen

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 15 cents at $48.37 per barrel

Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 22 cents at $51.84 per barrel

New York – Dow: DOWN less than 0.1 percent at 20,905.86 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,429.81 (close)

Asian markets struggled Friday as rally backs off after Trump budget disappoints

March 17, 2017
© AFP | Traders were disappointed by a lack of detail on tax reform and infrastructure spending in President Donald Trump’s budget plan

HONG KONG (AFP) – Asian markets struggled Friday as caution prevailed following the previous day’s rally, with investors concerned about a lack of detail on Donald Trump’s tax reforms and spending promises in his first budget.The tepid increases came a day after the Federal Reserve’s rate hike and signal of a slower pace of future rises sparked a surge across equities and sent the dollar tumbling.

The greenback struggled to recover from that sell-off, with the pound and euro holding on to their gains, while a stronger yen further dented Japanese exporters, in turn dragging the Nikkei index down.

On Wall Street the Dow and S&P 500 both retreated on disappointment with Trump’s controversial budget proposal, which was filled with big defence spending and cuts to education and environmental projects.

However, it lacked any detail on his pledge to slash taxes and ramp up infrastructure spending, with analysts saying there is a fear that ongoing acrimony on his health policy could mean the growth-firing measures will not come as soon as hoped.

“There is little doubt that Trump continues to tick off his list of promises,” Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note. “But it’s becoming clear that the stimulus part of Trumponomics might be delayed behind other imperatives.”

“Traders are likely to be disappointed that they still haven?t seen the meat on the bones of the tax proposals and infrastructure spending plans in this ‘skinny budget’. It helps explain why yesterday?s Fed sugar hit hasn?t continued today.”

– Pound holds gains –

Hong Kong was barely moved after a more than two percent jump Thursday, while Shanghai suffered heavy selling in the afternoon to end one percent lower.

Sydney added 0.2 percent and Seoul put on 0.7 percent while Singapore edged 0.2 percent higher.

Taipei and Manila were also higher, while Jakarta touched a record high in intra-day trade as emerging markets were boosted by the prospect US rates will not rise as quickly as expected. Higher US borrowing tend to hurt emerging markets as they lead investors to withdraw cash from the country to seek better returns.

?A less hawkish monetary policy in the US is more likely to push assets outside of the US into higher-risk, higher-return markets, James Woods, a Sydney-based investment analyst at Rivkin Securities, told Bloomberg News.

?A weaker dollar is supportive of those emerging markets generally.” However, he cautioned that the gains could be reversed in time as focus shifts back to the next rate hike.

Tokyo ended the day 0.4 percent lower but Toshiba soared five percent on reports the Japanese government is mulling using state money to support the company’s plans to spin off its memory chip business.

However, the company is still under intense pressure as it struggles with huge losses at its US nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric and probes claims of misconduct by senior executives there. The Tokyo Stock Exchange has put Toshiba “under supervision”, meaning it faces being delisted.

On currency markets the pound maintained Thursday’s charge that came after minutes showed Bank of England policymakers were gravitating towards a possible interest rate hike, surprising traders. Sterling was flat at $1.2360, having jumped from around $1.2280 in London.

Traders will be keeping an eye on a G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Germany this weekend, as worries grow over Trump’s isolationist slant, while the US president is due to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later Friday.

– Key figures around 0700 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.4 percent at 19,521.59 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: FLAT at 24,279.71

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 1.0 percent at 3,237.45 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0779 from $1.0771

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2366 from $1.2358

Dollar/yen: UP at 113.30 yen from 113.26 yen

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP nine cents at $48.84 per barrel

Oil – Brent North Sea: UP four cents at $51.78 per barrel

New York – Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 20,934.55 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.6 percent at 7,415.95 (close)

© 2017 AFP