Trade Worries Still Weigh On Asian Stock As Tariff Deadline Looms


  • Asian stocks were mixed yet again on Tuesday
  • A lack of local economic data is keeping investors focus on trade spats
  • The US Dollar was lower against the Euro as Germany’s latest political problem appeared to be resolved

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Asian stocks were mixed once again on Tuesday, with trade worries continuing to weigh on markets short of domestic data to add impetus.

The end of this week will see the imposition of new US tariffs on more Chinese imports, with Beijing pledged to respond in kind. While most commentators seem to think that a full-scale trade war between the world’s two largest national economies will yet be avoided, the omens are not good for a resolution of this issue anytime soon.

Some local stock markets managed gains nevertheless, with Australia’s ASX 200 and Seoul’s Kospi both higher albeit not to any great extent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng returned from a holiday to play bearish catchup with Chinese stocks’ performance while it was out. The Shanghai Composite was more or less unchanged on the day as its close loomed, however, with the Nikkei 225 lower, having relinquished early gains.

The US Dollar was marginally weaker against its major traded rivals as the Euro revived as Monday’s worries about the stability of Germany’s government were assuaged. China’s Yuan was volatile on trade concerns, with USD/CNY getting up to 6.7204- its strongest since last August, before slipping back on what some traders reportedly said was buying by Chinese state owned banks.

Commodity linked currencies like the Australian Dollar were also pressured. Indeed the Aussie slipped a little further on news that the Reserve Bank of Australia was leaving interest rates alone at record lows, with seemingly no intention whatever of raising them in the near future. Still, there were signs of a revival in risk appetite as European markets kicked in.

Gold prices slipped modestly once again, while crude oil prices rose after Libya declared force majeure on its lost production, although the prospect of increased supply from OPEC and the US shale fields, along with uncertain demand, is keeping the lid on.

Spot gold prices have now more-than erased their gains for the year and are now clinging to what must be tenuous support at the lows of December, 2017.

Still to come on Tuesday are the construction sector Purchasing Managers Index out of the UK, the manufacturing PMI from Canada, Eurozone retail sales figures and final durable goods order levels from the US.


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— Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

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