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Asian stocks in mixed mood over the trade agreement perspective

13 August 2019

Banks and technology companies led stocks broadly lower on Wall Street, extending a two-week slide brought on by escalations of the trade conflict between the USA and China that investors fear will slow down the global economy.

Beijing responded by halting purchases of US agricultural products and by allowing the Yuan to depreciate beyond 7 per US Dollar for the first time since 2008.

Meanwhile, futures on the S&P 500 are reporting 0.20% gains.

Markets in Japan, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand are closed on account of a trading holiday.

Investors fear that U.S. President Donald Trump's impending September 1 tariff hike on more Chinese imports will scuttle talks aimed at ending their trade war. Those comments helped to drive a late sell-off in a volatile session that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average fall 0.34 per cent, the S&P 500 lose 0.66 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite drop 1 per cent. "The United States urges all sides to refrain from violence", the official said.

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Republican US President Donald Trump, who has been seeking a major deal to correct trade imbalances with China, has drawn some criticism at home after he described the Hong Kong protests as "riots" this month and said they were a matter for China and Hong Kong to deal with as the territory was part of China.

Goldman Sachs feels the US-China trade deal is unlikely to happen before 2020 US Presidential elections and fears of trade war leading to an economic recession are growing.

"Cross asset correlations and money flow continue to tell (us) that this funk in markets is a genuine result of fear and uncertainty from traders and investors", said Greg McKenna, strategist at McKenna Macro.

Traders seeking safety shifted more money into USA government bonds, sending Treasury prices sharply higher and yields lower. The precious metal shed some early gains on Monday but last traded flat at $1,496.37 per ounce. It came under pressure on Friday after the downbeat data on the British economy.

The yuan was quoted at 7.0624 per USA dollar, 0.01% weaker than the previous close of 7.0615.

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China's onshore yuan weakened slightly against the dollar to 7.0638 while its offshore counterpart strengthened to 7.0935 per dollar.

Adobe fell 2.1%, and Bank of America gave up 2.4%.

Oil prices dipped on growth and trade worries, having risen sharply on Friday on a drop in European inventories and production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 59 cents per barrel to $53.89 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Asian stocks in mixed mood over the trade agreement perspective