BEIJING: Global stock prices fell Wednesday, though not as much as Wall Street the day before, amid confusion about what the U.S. and China agreed to in a tariff cease-fire.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 index fell 1.0 percent to 6,950 and German’s DAX lost 0.8 percent to 11,240. France’s CAC 40 retreated 0.9 percent to 4,966. U.S. stock trading was due to remain closed to mourn the death of former President George H.W. Bush.
ASIA’S DAY: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.6 percent to 26,819.58 and the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.6 percent to 2,649.81. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.5 percent to 21,919.33 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.8 percent to 5,668.40. Seoul’s Kospi gave up 0.8 percent to 2,101.31 and India’s Sensex was 0.6 percent lower at 35,902.74.
TRADE QUESTIONS: Investor confidence in the U.S.-China agreement faltered after confusing and conflicting comments from President Donald Trump and some senior officials. That revived fears the disagreement between the world’s two biggest economies could slow global growth. Trump previously said the agreement would lead to sales of American farm goods and cuts in Chinese auto tariffs, but Beijing has yet to confirm that. Trump renewed threats of tariff hikes on Tuesday, saying on Twitter that Washington would have a “real deal” with China or else would charge “major tariffs” on Chinese goods. That cast further doubt on the weekend agreement.
FED WATCH: Markets also got a jolt from remarks by the president of the Fed’s New York regional bank. John Williams said that given his outlook for strong economic growth, he expects “further gradual increases in interest rates will best sponsor a sustained economic expansion.” That seemed to counter Fed Chairman Jay Powell’s remarks last week. The jitters helped drive demand for government bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.91 percent from 2.99 percent late Monday, a large move.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Positive sentiment from the China-U.S. trade war truce dissipated quickly,” Eugene Leow and Radhika Rao of DBS Group said in a report. “Questions on trade, worries about U.S. growth and perceived dovishness on the Fed all play a part in explaining these market moves. Concerns were also compounded by increasing news narrative on inverted curves and risks of a recession.”
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1 cent to $53.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 30 cents on Tuesday to close at $53.25. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 13 cents to $61.95 per barrel in London. It gained 39 cents the previous session to $62.08.
CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 112.99 yen from Wednesday’s 112.78 yen. The euro rose to $1.1356 from $1.1343.
An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.